Coast Guard issues $12K fine to B.C. boat owner over hazardous marine concerns

A Coast Guard hovercraft and boat stand by near the Second Narrows Bridge during an operation in Vancouver, B.C., Wednesday, July 4, 2018.

The Canadian Coast Guard has handed a B.C. boat owner a $12,000 fine over concerns that their vessel was impacting the environment.

In a release Thursday, the coast guard said the fine was handed down on Jan. 23 to the owner of the MV Dorothy Gale – a 7.6 metre (25 foot) fibreglass pleasure vessel that was docked in Masset Harbour on Haida Gwaii.

The coast guard says the Dorothy Gale was “determined to pose a hazard to the marine environment and public safety,” and was also causing structural damage to the public dock.

The coast guard handed the owner of the vessel a $12,000 administrative monetary penalty through the relatively new Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, which was implemented in 2019.

While the act was introduced in July 2019, the first fine to be levied through the law wasn’t handed out until June 2023, almost four years later.

That fine was issued to a Victoria boat owner, whose vessel was washed up along a beach in Cadboro Bay.

The coast guard says the owner of the Dorothy Gale was handed the fine after they failed to comply with coast guard orders to move the vessel on Jan. 15.

The owner now has 30 days to pay the fine, or file an appeal with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.

“Owners are responsible for the costs of addressing their problem vessel,” said the coast guard in its release Thursday. “This includes cleanup or repairs, and any remediation action taken by the Canadian Coast Guard.”

“The Canadian Coast Guard works with vessel owners to address their problem vessels. The issuance of a penalty is a last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted.”

SEE PREVIOUS: Four years after passage of law on abandoned boats, only two fines have been levied

Adam Chan

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