Demolition and removal of derelict boats begins in Ladysmith


WATCH: Cheers broke out along Ladysmith’s shoreline as the biggest of their derelict boats was removed for good on Tuesday. Officials say over 40 abandoned derelict boats have been left in the pretty seaside town in an area now dubbed the “Dog Patch” and their removal is now in sight.

Margie Johnson has been waiting years for this moment.

“I’m gonna frame these,” said the Ladysmith resident as she took pictures Tuesday.

” It’s a good day. I just live on the top of the hill and I could see and I thought are they moving that thing finally so I rushed down here to see.”

Johnson was excited because a beached, burned out boat, named the “Pula,” was finally being removed. The boat had been littering Ladysmith’s harbour so long it has small trees growing out of it.

“We have to accept this as a victory and an exciting day for our community,” said Ladysmith’s Mayor Aaron Stone.

The boat’s condition had deteriorated so much that it couldn’t be towed, so it was broken down into moveable pieces by a floating demolition crew so it could be hauled out of the harbour for good.

“I’m just so happy that it’s getting done finally,” said Johnson.

The removal is the result of $62,000 in federal funding for the Town of Ladysmith to begin cleaning up its so-called “Dog Patch.” more than 40 boats have been dumped in the area in recent years. The vessels that are the most visible and those posing a threat to the environment are being addressed with the current funding. The town plans to apply for more funding to deal with the rest.

“We got this initial funding that will make a big impression on people from a visual standpoint,” said Mayor Stone. “But it serves to recognize that there are over a dozen vessels that have been identified on the bottom that will have to be removed and then possibly dozens more that have been abandoned throughout the harbour.”

And new federal legislation aimed at stopping boat dumping could be passed as soon as this summer. The legislation would mean tougher administration and enforcement to track down and penalize boat owners.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!