Farewell Fairwind. The derelict marine vessel’s final fate was decided with Prince Rupert City Council agreeing to issue a temporary use permit (TUP) so the small ship can be towed from Porpoise Harbour in Port Edward to a ship wrecking yard in the neighbouring city.
The TUP approval was a welcome relief for the mayor of Port Edward Knut Bjorndal, who has fought to have the derelict vessel and its partner, the Scotch Cap, removed from the municipality’s waters for years.
“It’s a navigation hazard and an eyesore,” Knut Bjorndal, mayor of Port Edward, said. “I can honestly say I made quite a few phone calls to the Coast Guard, Transport Canada, and others to have this vessel removed.
The saga of the Fairwind and Scotchcap came to a head in September 2021 when the abandoned vessels broke loose from their moorings in the Port Edward harbour rendering the pier, gangway, and dock near the public boat launch unusable and creating environmental concerns. The vessels became grounded and eventually refloated with high tides.
The 90 ft. barge Scotch Cap and the 150 ft. Fairwind had been moored on a Prince Rupert Port Authority-owned (PRPA) property without authorization for more than 14 years after being abandoned by a fishing industry tenant. PRPA has been actively working for several years with partners, such as the Canadian Coast Guard, to monitor and ensure mitigation measures.
“It’s unfortunate that you know, we have had to put a lot of pressure on powers to be to get it taken away, but without public pressure, very little happens in these kinds of things,” Bjorndal told The Northern View.
“These shipwrecks are all over the coast. We’re not the only people that have this problem.”
The company behind the TUP application is Butze Terminal Ltd. a marine division of the parent company Amix Group which offers marine-based services and transportation. The Fairwind will be dismantled, and salvaged metal shipped out on a barge to Vancouver for further processing. The Scotch Cap was dismantled on location in the Port Edward harbour and the scrap metal was shipped out in February 2022.
The TUP application is to have a shipwrecking yard for up to one year to allow for a potential contract awarded by the Canadian Coast Guard. Once all hazardous materials have been removed from the vessel, it would be towed to and winched with pneumatic airbags under the ship on the applicant’s property at 191 Metlakatla Road, stated a report presented to the council on Oct. 4.
Once on the proponent’s property, the ship would be cut up and scrap metal shipped out.
Contingent on the contract award, work the project is anticipated to begin in late October to be completed by February 2023.
Prince Rupert City Council placed additional caveats on the TUP to ensure compliance including a $5,000 cash bond. The additional conditions listed in the report are “No hazardous materials are brought to, or stored on the subject property; All hazardous materials are removed from ships before they are brought to, or stored on lands within the city of Prince Rupert; It is the responsibility of the applicant/owner to ensure that any required permits from other government agencies have been secured prior to commencing the temporary use.”
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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