Letter: Where is the owner of the derelict boat in Mannion Bay?

Dear Editor, 

After a few months on the bottom of Mannion Bay, a boat was salvaged on Sunday by Ivor Kerr. If it were not for the irresponsible, uncaring owner, we taxpayers would not be out of pocket $6,000, which is the cost of the salvage and demolition. Indeed, it would have been tempting to leave it in its nautical grave. However, because the mast was protruding above the water, it was considered a navigational hazard, hence the funding from Transport Canada via its Abandoned Boats Program. 

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Whether Transport Canada attempts to recover the salvage cost from the somewhat phantom owner remains to be seen, though I think it is highly unlikely as he appears to have taken up residence elsewhere. 

While grateful for the federal funding, I find little consolation in the fact all Canadian taxpayers are participating in this salvage cost versus just the Bowen taxpayers. If the owner was responsible, it would be his cost. 

Far too many long-stay anchorages end up the same way as this sunken boat. It is best we not permit them in the bay in the first place and those that are here now should be requested to leave in order to spare the taxpayers the inevitable expense of salvage when the owners have no more use for their boats. 

Care should be taken by everyone, myself included, to understand that not all boats at anchored in the bay are long-stay anchorages; most are owned by responsible owners, are insured and actually used for their manufactured purpose… boating! Those boats are welcome as are tourists’.

I would be remiss not to praise and thank Ivor Kerr, of Cormorant Marine Taxi & Barge, for his incredible job of salvaging this sunken boat last Sunday. It was an intriguing process and, while most entertaining, I would have far rather watched France defeat Croatia in the World Cup final. This is certainly not the first such command performance by Ivor and sadly will not be the last as we still have the “Cat Boat” on the rocks at the west end of the bay, where it has been for many months. We also have some other boats “in waiting” that could meet the same fate. Toroka is also sitting like a beached whale at Seymour Bay, ready for its removal and demolition. Thank heavens it only anchored for one week in Mannion Bay, all of which proves derelicts are not unique to Mannion Bay, just much more prevalent and in a much more inhabited and iconic area.

In addition to the kudos to Ivor, thanks is in order for Bonny Brokenshire and her staff at the municipality, the latter of which needs everyone’s support and encouragement to be more proactive to rid ourselves of the problem boats and not permit their replacement.

 Bruce Russell

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