Derelict tug boat towed from Maple Bay area

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Hauling derelict boats from Cowichan's waters may be legally tough, but apparently not if they're adrift.

Seventy-foot commercial vessel The Trojan was ordered towed to Ladysmith Thursday by Transport Canada Navigable Waters staff, an RCMP release says.

Cpl. Krista Hobday of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP explains Trojan was adrift off Maple Bay Peninsula, and may have posed navigational risks, prompting action by several government agencies.

"North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP acted as a liaison between the RCMP South Island Marine Unit out of Victoria, Transport Canada Navigable Waters, and North Cowichan  bylaws," Hobday says.

"A decision was made by Transport Canada Navigable Waters to place a removal order on the tug July 29.

"Later that evening, officers boarded the vessel to ensure there was no one on board, and there were no hazards in relation to the inner vessel."

At around 9:25 p.m. the tug was towed to Ladysmith without incident, she says.

Trojan sits among a fleet of derelict vessel dumped in Warm Land waters in recent years, including The Dominion. It at in Cowichan Bay for some four years before its owner hauled it away for scrapping, leaving The Beaver in its wake.

Beaver has since sunk in the bay.

Federal rules prevent removal of vagrant vessels unless they pose navigational or environmental threats.

Cowichan MP Jean Crowder is seeking derelict-vessel legislation under a private member's bill, but Ottawa has failed to act so far.

Meanwhile, some Cowichanians believe bum boats should simply be seized and salvaged or sold by local governments to prevent accidents or pollution, while the feds fumble with Crowder's requested legislation.


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