Tired of waiting for action on a pile of derelict boats on the Oak Bay end of the Cadboro Bay beach, a group of Saanich and Oak Bay residents are going to do it themselves.
Spearheaded by the Cadboro Bay Residents Association, they’ve partnered with an Oak Bay residents association, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Veins of Life Watershed Society, Saanich, C-Tow Marine Victoria and Ralmax, to clear about 16 derelict boats, and pieces of them, that have been there for years.
The big day is set for Saturday, May 13. It’s the biggest thing to hit Caddy Bay in a long time, said Eric Dahli, president of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association.
“With the help of John Roe (from Veins of Life) we have taken over possession of the boats through the Receiver of Wrecks, and we are continuing with our plan to clear all the boats by May,” Dahli said. “Without John Roe we’d be mired in the quicksand of confusion, he’s been assisting us at every turn.”
Roe and the Veins of Life Watershed are back as an advocate after a decade-long hiatus. The organization is credited for salvaging the Gorge Waterway in the late 1990s with major cleanup efforts.
Last month the CBRA submitted a letter and photos to Oak Bay with a request for help clearing the derelict boats. C-Tow pledged to help haul the boats to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, which will use its hoist to pull the heaps from the water, Dahli said. From there, Ralmax committed a truck and trailer that will haul the boats away.
“We’re working with all these people to get them to donate whatever (time and resources) they can, and if we have to pass the hat around (to pay), we will, but we’re grateful and hopeful,” Dahli said. “Saanich has allowed us to put a bin in Cadboro-Gyro Park for the small debris.
“I’ve never been so proud to be part of a group effort,” said Dahli, adding the neighbourhood residents are highly supportive.
Smugglers Cove plans to host the volunteers for an end-of-shift celebration.
“Put on your rubber boots and bring a shovel,” Dahli said.
The work party clean up starts at 10 a.m. on May 13, which is low tide.