Jennifer Vardy photo
By Jennifer Vardy Little
FOR THE SOU’WESTER
Transcontinental Media/The News
PICTOU, N.S. – A sunken boat in Pictou Harbour poses no threat to marine life, according to Transport Canada officials.
Maryse Durette, senior adviser with Transport Canada, says officials were in Pictou to investigate a sailboat that is partially submerged next to the Hector Quay Marina. The boat is still partially visible through the ice that pushed it up against the wharf, where it’s been most of the winter. “According to that investigation, the boat poses no danger to property or to navigation and does not pose an environmental hazard, as there are no known contaminants on board,” said Durette. “The vessel does not appear to be in contravention of any of Transport Canada's regulations and therefore Transport Canada has no legal grounds to take any action against the vessel's owner.
The submerged boat has been an ongoing concern in Pictou over the past few months. Mayor Joe Hawes says council has kept a close eye on the situation. “This is just negligence on the part of the owner,” Hawes said. “The town tried a couple of times to get the guy to move it – the concern could be some leakage if it busts up.”
It’s rumoured that there is a motor onboard the vessel.
The owner of the vessel has made a commitment to Transport Canada to remove the boat from the harbour as soon as it is freed from the ice. At all times, vessel owners are responsible for ensuring their vessels do not become an environmental hazard or interfere with the public right of navigation, Durette added. “Transport Canada will continue to monitor the situation to confirm that the boat does not become an obstacle to the public right of navigation,” Durette said. “Should it become an obstacle...Transport Canada will take appropriate action.”
Transport Canada is responsible for enforcement of marine safety and pollution prevention legislation and regulations. If, at any time, a vessel becomes an environmental or navigational hazard, the owner will be held responsible for any resulting damages.