Barge Chilling Bay? Still no timeline for removing Esquimalt vessel one week after it ran aground

A Lafarge cement barge that ran aground off Esquimalt's McLoughlin Point is seen Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022.

It’s been one week since a Lafarge barge washed ashore near Esquimalt’s McLoughlin Point and Tuesday afternoon it remained in place.

Transport Canada says it continues to work with the owner’s representative, who has now conducted a damage assessment to help figure out how to safely re-float and remove the barge.

It’s a complex issue involving tide levels, weather, safety and environmental protection, Transport Canada said, so there is no timeline on when it may be removed.

Since nobody was injured and the vessel wasn’t carrying cement or fuel the internet appears to be having a little fun at the barge’s expense.

One Reddit user has suggested it be named “Bargy Vicbargeface” while another suggests the area get a “Barge Chilling Bay” sign similar to Vancouver’s tongue-in-cheek “Barge Chilling Beach.”

Others questioned whether this is just Victoria once again copying a Vancouver trend, but it turns out Victoria has its own history with grounded barges.

Two barges washed ashore along Dallas Road during a windstorm in March 2016. One was removed promptly but it took three weeks to safely remove the other.

The Vancouver barge took more than a year to remove, the damage so severe it had to be deconstructed and taken away piece by piece.

One salvage expert tells CHEK News that the Esquimalt barge is actually in a worse situation than the one in Vancouver because the area it’s in is much more open than protected English Bay.

That means the Lafarge barge is much more susceptible to high winds and rough seas that could put it in an even more precarious position.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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