Flotilla planned to protest Viki Lyne II

Organizers of a rally to protest the presence of the Viki Lyne II in Ladysmith Harbour hope to get a flotilla gathered Sunday, July 19

Organizers of a rally to protest the presence of the Viki Lyne II in Ladysmith Harbour hope to get a flotilla gathered Sunday, July 19, at the bow of the derelict vessel, which a Coast Guard commissioned study has said is an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

“The Federal government needs to hear from us. Our beaches, sea life and harbour industries are in peril,” said Rob Pinkerton Friday, July 10. “The vessel Viki Lyne II is in imminent danger of sinking with 13,000 liters of oil and solvents on board.”

A front-page story in the June 16 Chronicle (Why is this ship still in our harbour?) presented findings of the marine survey, conducted in June 2012, which described the 224 ton, 103 ft long Viki Lyne II as a hulk, so rusted that it may only be a layer of “scale and marine growth, which is preventing the inflooding of the hull.”

“Disassembly and scrapping of the vessel is the only certain way of removing her current threat to the environment,” McAllister Marine Survey & Design concluded.

Three years later, the Viki Lyne II is still moored in Ladysmith Harbour, which prompted Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone and Stz’uminus Chief John Elliott to write federal Minister of Transport Lisa Rait Feb. 15 expressing ‘grave concern.’

The only action taken to date was last fall, when the Coast Guard had 20,000 litres of oil and solvents pumped from the vessel. That still leaves the estimated 13,000 litres on board, enough to cause serious environmental and economic damage, jeopardizing the harbour’s shellfish industry, tourism and recreational access.

Pinkerton wants Ladysmith and area residents to add their voices to the call for action. “Come join other concerned citizens who are going to express their disapproval… to the Federal government by forming a flotilla of small vessels off the bow of the Viki Lyne II,” he said.

But the Chronicle has learned that the chances of having the Viki Lyne II removed may actually be worsening day by day rather than getting better.

The Canadian Coast Guard does not have any budget to deal with derelict vessels. Instead they have to remove them within their existing budget, then apply to an organization called the Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund (SSOPF) to recover costs.

Administrator Alfred Popp told the Chronicle in June that the SSOPF prefers to deal with vessels that pose an environmental risk ‘comprehensively,’ within two years, not incrementally over a longer period.

When the Coast Guard had oil removed from the Viki Lyne II, they may have triggered a two-year clock, and unless the Viki Lyne II is dealt with comprehensively by then they could become ineligible for SSOPF funding.

As of June no funding through the SSOPF had been applied for, but Coast Guard Senior Communication Advisor Tom Robbins confirmed Friday an application for funding will be made.

Robbins could not confirm what the application will be for, but the SSOPF only funds work already done, which would mean the Coast Guard can only apply for reimbursement of money spent removing oil and solvents last fall.

He could not confirm if the Coast Guard plans to take further steps.

For more information about the protest email Rob Pinkerton at rlpink@telus.net


Just Posted

Ladysmith Interact club students inspired and inspiring

Ladysmith Secondary School group making a difference in their community

IIO doesn’t recommend charges after motorcyclist death in Mill Bay

An off-duty VicPD officer was involved in the crash

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Windstorm topples tree onto townhouse in Nanaimo

Heavy winds have thousands of B.C. Hydro customers without power

Most Read