Winter windstorm causes barge to run aground in Esquimalt

Winter windstorm causes barge to run aground in Esquimalt
A Lafarge barge ran aground near Esquimalt's McLoughlin Point Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.

The strong winds whipped up by a winter storm appeared to slam a barge into the rocks near Esquimalt’s McLoughlin Point Tuesday afternoon.

Multiple witnesses sent photos and video of a Lafarge barge said to be transporting cement that had run aground.

The incident was reported to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria at around 4 p.m.

Witnesses said at one point, several tug boats responded to try to keep the vessel off the rocks.

There was no one aboard the barge when it happened and a rescue was not needed so JRCC stood down, the centre told CHEK News.

At one point, the Coho Ferry was forced to navigate around the wayward barge, giving onlookers another brief moment of worry on a day of wild weather.

The Coast Guard confirmed it was aware of the cement barge grounded between Harrison Island and McLoughlin Point.

“Reports are that lines snapped while it was under tow in rough weather,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

There were no concerns for safety or pollution as the barge is reportedly empty, it added.

Operations to recover it will be put on hold until weather conditions improve.


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