What Do You Do With Over 4,000 Gallons of Toxic Oil?

Typically marine scaling and growth are a bane to any marine vessel but in the case of the 108’ trawler Viki Lyne II, that may be all that is holding in over 4,000 gallons of marine grade oil from discharging into Ladysmith Harbor in British Columbia. The residents of this small community are both alarmed and outraged…the vessel has been sitting in their harbor for over 4 years.

Birds could get oiled along with any other marine life in the area. There’s also the potential for toxins to have a long-term effect, and there’s a number of shellfish operations in the harbour.

Viki Lyne II

So the Viki Lyne II is a 224 gross ton trawler that was built in 1961 making her 55 years old. She was built by Babcock Marine Appledore in the UK and originally sailed under the name Star of Devon. She was abandoned near Dunsmuir Island in 2011  after her owner came down with dementia and was placed in a care home. The Canadian Coast Guard towed the vessel into Ladysmith Harbor  where she’s remained since.

After considerable effort on the citizens of the community and local government, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada posted a notice looking for a contractor to remove and dismantle the vessel as soon as possible; preferably before the winter weather sets in.

Threat

The Viki Lyne II’s hull was originally 11 millimeters thick out of the shipyard but ultrasonic testing has show that in some areas the hull has corroded to just 3 millimeters. It would take much to breach the hull and the results would be disastrous.

“There’s an immediate risk to wildlife,” said Michelle Young, program coordinator for the Georgia Strait Alliance’s Clean Marine BC green boating program. “Birds could get oiled along with any other marine life in the area. There’s also the potential for toxins to have a long-term effect, and there’s a number of shellfish operations in the harbour.”

Summary

It’s great to see that the Canadian government is finally taking some action on this issue, but the irony is that a second derelict, the tugboat Silver King, has been towed into the same harbor. Although promises have been made regarding the dispose of this vessel as well, residents are understandably skeptical.

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