Coast guard, local responders deal with sunken boat and fuel spill in Ganges Harbour

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Coast guard and local operators conducted a midday operation Friday to bring up a sunken sailboat and clean up fuel spilling from it near Powder Islet in Ganges Harbour. 

The effort took around two and a half hours to complete, said Nick Boychuk of Eagle Eye Marine Services, who worked with Island Marine Construction Services and the Canadian Coast Guard to bring the boat to the surface and mop up fuel.

Coast guard personnel put in an absorbent boom to absorb any petroleum products coming to the surface from the sunken boat. Island Marine then brought a crane and barge to lift the vessel, which had its keel dug into the mud at the ocean floor in about nine metres (30 feet ) underwater. 

No one was onboard when the vessel sunk, said Boychuk. The owner had checked on the boat a few days prior but was unaware of why it would have sunk. The boat is now floating, Boychuk said, and the owner is going to stay on it overnight to monitor it. 

Eagle Eye Marine lifts around five boats a month, Boychuk said, so what happened today is a common occurrence. 

“Luckily it was reported right away,” Boychuck said, reminding people if they see boats sinking to report them to the coast guard and not only post on social media as has happened in the past. The coast guard will assess whether there are hydrocarbons on board and if so, begin the response effort right away. 

Call the coast guard at 1-800-880-8852 to report marine pollution. 

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