Skip to content

Derelict vessel Scotch Cap is removed

Fairwind still floats in Porpoise harbour with fate unknown
The derelict barge, Scotch Cap was deconstructed with final pieces removed on Feb. 17, leaving its partner vessel Fair Wind, with a fate unknown and afloat in Port Edward harbour. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

The deconstruction and removal of the derelict barge, Scotch Cap, from the Porpoise Harbour dock was completed on Feb. 17, Knut Bjorndal, mayor of Port Edward, said.

The scrap metal from the deconstruction of the 90 ft. abandoned barge was shipped away shortly by 5 p.m., the mayor said, adding there were “many happy people” when the boat launch in the municipality re-opened to normal activity.

“The removal went fairly smoothly,” Bjorndal told The Northern View on Feb. 22. “Everything worked fairly well.”

The vessel which had been creating environmental concerns for the municipality took just more than five weeks to be deconstructed.

“Contractors worked over the course of several weeks to ensure the demolition of the Scotch Cap was carried out safely and in accordance with environmental standards. The work site has now been restored to its previous condition and no debris from the project escaped the containment boom, which has now been removed,” Ken Veldman, vice president, public affairs and sustainability of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said.

Overall, the Prince Rupert Port Authority is pleased with the result and would like to thank the public for their patience during the demolition activity, Veldman said.

However, the derelict boat Fairwind is still in the harbour with no answer insight as to when it may be removed, Bjorndal said.

While he is pleased the barge has been removed, the 150 ft. Fairwind has different issues surrounding its removal, he said.

“We are still looking for someone to take responsibility for the boat and remove it,” Bjorndal said, of the boat, which has been derelict for more than 14 years and attached to a Prince Rupert Port Authority dock, on a leased water property.

“The boat has different challenges such as fuel tanks, some of which are filled with seawater. The main engine contains lubrication oil of low viscosity,” he said adding there is a floating safety boom around the boat that soaks up any possible contaminants and is changed regularly when it gets dirty.

The boat and barge were left behind by a previous tenant without authorization when their lease with the Prince Rupert Port Authority ended. Both derelict vessels broke loose from their moorings on Sept. 8 rendering the pier, gangway, and dock near the public boat launch unusable. The vessels became grounded.

As previously reported in The Northern View, when the Port Edward mayor arrived at the site in September, he said it was an “ugly scene.”

“Both vessels were high and dry,” he said, with the ship being grounded on an estimated 20-degree angle and the barge on a 30-degree angle.

“We dodged one big environmental problem by just luck that the ship refloated …We were afraid it was going to roll over and sink — even the experts from the Port Authority thought the same,” Bjordal said at the time.

Bjorndal called on all levels of government to take action. He said people of the municipality felt like second-class citizens after years of requests for assistance to remove the vessels due to escalating environmental concerns with leftover oil, drums of unknown chemicals and pressurized gasses in tanks.