Canadian Coast Guard Issues $15,000 Fine for a Hazardous Vessel

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Vancouver, British Columbia – Wrecked, abandoned, or hazardous boats pose significant threats to the environment, local communities, and economies. Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is actively addressing these problem vessels and ensuring owner accountability.

Recent Enforcement Actions

Recently, the Canadian Coast Guard utilized its authority under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act to issue a $15,000 fine, in the form of an administrative monetary penalty, to a vessel owner in British Columbia. The owner had 30 days to pay the fine or request a review hearing with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.

On April 3, 2024, a fine was issued to the owner of a 30-foot sailing vessel located on the Jericho Beach breakwater in Vancouver, British Columbia. The vessel was deemed a hazard to the marine environment and public safety based on the following criteria:

  • The vessel was accessible to the public and, due to its instability and damaged state, could cause injury.
  • The vessel caused structural damage to the administrative building of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the main support beams for the adjacent dock.
  • Ongoing damage to the fiberglass hull risked pollution as broken parts could drift away into the marine environment.

This fine was issued after the owner failed to comply with the Canadian Coast Guard’s directives to remove the vessel and take measures to prevent pollution by January 24, 2024.

Owner Responsibilities and Penalties

Vessel owners are responsible for the costs associated with addressing their problem vessels, including cleanup, repairs, and any remedial actions taken by the Canadian Coast Guard. The issuance of penalties is a last resort, used only after all other avenues have been exhausted. Penalties issued under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act are publicly reported on the Canadian Coast Guard’s website.

Public Assistance and Reporting

The Canadian Coast Guard encourages the public to report any wrecked, abandoned, or hazardous vessels. Public participation is crucial for effective management and prioritization of these issues. This recent fine is the third issued to a hazardous vessel owner in British Columbia and the fourth administrative monetary penalty issued in Canada.

Vessel owners are responsible for maintaining their vessels in good condition and properly disposing of them when they reach the end of their life.

The Canadian Coast Guard maintains a national inventory of problem vessels to better track and prioritize them. To date, over 2,000 such vessels have been reported.

Since 2016, under the Oceans Protection Plan, over 580 projects have been funded to remove and dispose of problem vessels across Canada, and it is now illegal to abandon a vessel in Canadian waters.

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Source: Canada.ca