On July 17, one of our crews from the south coast conducted a training exercise in Bowen Island’s Mannion Bay. The simulation was one of the routine exercises that we conduct across the West Coast on a regular basis. The intent of the exercise was to simulate an oil spill caused by the sinking of a derelict vessel.
Our crews often conduct training simulations after contacting coastal communities to see if they have any specific concerns about possible spills in their waters. The Bowen Island community had expressed concern that one of the many abandoned boats in the area could sink and discharge fuel in the bay.
The area has been plagued in recent years by derelict vessels and live-aboards, many of which have migrated from Vancouver after a crackdown on illegal vessels in that jurisdiction. In 2006, Vancouver passed a bylaw banning boats from dropping anchor for longer than two weeks in False Creek, in order to clear out a large number of live-aboard boats clogging the waterway in the heart of Vancouver.
You can read the story behind the training exercise in the Bowen Island Undercurrent.