A sunken sailboat no longer poses a risk to other boaters on Shuswap Lake.
The boat was first spotted by Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) bylaw officer Chris Smit in February. I was off the 2200 block of Eagle Bay Road, with its mast extending out of the water.
Smit began looking for a way to get the boat removed. He reported the sunken craft to the Report All Poachers and Polluters line, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada.
According to the CSRD, the coast guard determined there was no concern about marine pollution. The regional district began working with Transport Canada’s Navigation Protection Program to start a clean-up effort. Because the sailboat was deemed an obstruction affecting the safety of other vessels on the lake, the cleanup was planned under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.
On Oct. 29, Transport Canada arranged for a local scuba diving company with experience recovering sunken vessels to help raise the sailboat.
The recovery was problematic at first as the boat’s keel was buried deep in the lake bed. Specialized air bags were used to float it to the surface and then to shore.
It was then taken away with a truck and trailer.
“We’ve helped clean up the lake and ensured others can safely use the area,” says Smit. “It’s satisfying to have worked together with these other agencies to bring this to a successful conclusion.”