A barge that sank near Campbell River will soon be removed from the water, at a cost of $4.7 million.
The 98-metre-long Trailer Princess will be removed from the water and deconstructed so that it does not pose a threat to the marine environment, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.
Currently located just north of Campbell River in Duncan Bay, the Trailer Princess sank earlier this year. A total of 89,000 litres of hydrocarbons and oily water have been removed to date, according to the coast guard.
The coast guard says they removed around 34,000 litres of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from its tanks when it sank, but could not get to areas below deck because of the hazardous environment.
AMIX/Marine Recycling Corporation removed a further 55,000 litres of hydrocarbons and oily water and the barge has been refloated in preparation for removal.
Originally a WWII U.S. Navy landing craft, the Trailer Princess was converted into a rail ferry in the 1960s operated by Canadian Pacific. The coast guard says it was later sold and converted into a support barge for a logging camp, complete with a helicopter platform and fueling capabilities.
Two layers of boom are still in place while the deconstruction and removal of the boat begin, in coordination with the Wei Wai Kum First Nation.
Because Canada follows the “polluter pays” principle, the polluter is responsible for the costs of damage. Removal and deconstruction are set to begin next week.
The Trailer Princess is not the only vessel removed from the waters off of Vancouver Island this week.
The US Coast Guard says the Aleutian Isle, which sank off the coast of San Juan Island last month, has been successfully placed on a salvage barge.
They add it does not pose an environmental threat any longer, and will be brought to a mainland facility to figure out why it sank.
“We are so pleased to see the vessel safely out of the water,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Kira Moody. “The unique environment of the San Juan Islands and location of the vessel made this a complicated and technical response. Through the team’s expertise, we were able to overcome any challenge safely and efficiently.”
The USCG says they will be monitoring the area for oil impacts over the next several days.