NORTH SHORE (NEWS 1130) –The Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident where two free-floating barges drifted into Coal Harbour, causing around $1 million in damage.
Vancouver Police say just after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, two heavy barges moored in North Vancouver became loose and drifted toward the Burrard Inlet. They were heavy, loaded with containers, each about the size of a soccer field.
The loose barges hit several boats and structures around Coal Harbour Marina, damaging two boats and three structures, including yachts and a bar. Two tug boats, two Port Vancouver vessels and a VPD Marine Unit boat together were able to pull the barges back to North Vancouver, according to police.
One barge weighed about 3,000 tons and had around 80 containers on it (not clear if they were filled). The other weighing almost 2,500 tons. Each barge owned by a different company. @TSBCanada trying to get in touch with them both. @NEWS1130
— Monika Gul (@MonikaGul) December 27, 2018
Mohan Raman with the the TSB says they are still trying to contact the barge owners.
“Two of the barges drifted from inside Vancouver harbour, and they struck a few objects on its way, such as the Harbour Air terminal as well as one or two areas of Coal Harbour, including a couple yachts,” he says. “I think this is perhaps one of a kind, and I don’t think this is the norm. I am not sure why the barge shifted, but that’s what we’re looking into.”
Raman says they don’t believe there was any pollution from the incident, but the Ministry of Environment is investigating to make sure no fuel spilled from the yachts.
– With files from Sonia Aslam