Mysterious sight off Esquimalt Lagoon revealed as ocean cleanup fire drill

Mysterious sight off Esquimalt Lagoon revealed as ocean cleanup fire drill

A mysterious cloud formation hovering on the Esquimalt Lagoon slowed traffic, confused experts and had online pundits speculating that a “Ghost Ship” may be visiting the Island.

However, it ended up being the leftover mist from an ocean cleanup crew’s fire drill.

Word spread fast online about the high seas enigma, and soon the internet was abuzz with speculations of their own.

At one point even the Royal Canadian Navy had to confirm they had nothing to do with the ominous cloud.

Some online pundits speculated that the spectacle was a ghost pirate ship, like something from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.

Even Armel Castellan, a meteorologist with Environment Canada wasn’t quite sure what he was seeing.

“When I first watched it I had no idea what I was looking at,” Castellan said.

Castellan says the season for water spouts is just beginning, and initially thought that’s what the mystery was – until he watched the video.

“We were starting to guess that maybe it had something to do with water being ejected from a boat because there are other boats nearby when you look really closely,” Castellan said.

However, CHEK News got to the bottom of the mystery: Beneath that cloud, two ships — the Maersk Tender, and Maersk Trader.

They are part of the non-profit “The Ocean Cleanup,” now heading to the waters of the Pacific Northwest to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a massive collection of floating debris.

The crews and ships remove the plastic floating in the ocean.

Thursday morning’s mist? Nothing more than the two ships testing their firefighting equipment in a fire drill.

“Mystery is definitely solved. The media in this case did most of the legwork,” Castellan said.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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