VANCOUVER'S FIRST MAJOR
ARTIFICIAL REEF SOCIETY ANNOUNCES PLANS
TO SINK THE FORMER HMCS ANNAPOLIS ON
JANUARY 17, 2015 IN HOWE SOUND
January 5, 2015
Since 1989, the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) has sunk more ships to create marine habitat than any other non-profit group in the world. Today we are announcing that we are moving forward with plans to sink the former HMCS Annapolis, a 366 foot (110 meter) helicopter-carrying destroyer-escort to create an artificial reef in Halkett Bay Marine Provincial Park on Gambier Island, British Columbia. This involves two steps:
- The ship will be towed from Long Bay (also known as Port Graves) to neighbouring Halkett Bay on January 13, 2015 for anchoring over the sink site. Final preparations will be made before sinking on Saturday January 17, 2015.
- The sinking is expected to take place in the late morning, and as it is a weather-dependent event we advise watching our web site for updates. The viewing public is welcome to attend via watercraft from an establish stand-off distance.
Leading up to the sinking, the Annapolis has been meticulously cleaned of hazardous and pollutant materials in compliance with federal regulations, and an estimated 250 tons of materials; almost everything but the steel hull and aluminum superstructure will have been recycled.
Have you, or somebody you know, been the target of a thief?
The exact number of boats stole every year in Canada is probably unknown . . . it's lots. Since 2005 the stolen boats website has dedicated to assist the public and law enforcment to locate and return stolen boats.
Visit them at www.stolenboats.ca
Beginning January 27th, 2014 and continuing to March 15th, the Ladner Harbour will undergo the first stage of a dredging operation. After a break, dredging will resume in July and continue until November.
As a number of our members have boats in the Ladner area, we will do our best to keep up to date information on this project listed on this website. Check back often for updates.
For detailed information please refer to:
A Faster Way for Boaters to Report
For those of you who boat South of the border, the following is an information bulleting recently issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding a new program to permit easier entry of pleasure craft into the U.S.
HOPE THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOU
On the 2 Jul 2012 My wife and I were returning to Pt Roberts WA from Montaque Harbour on Galiano Island. We, as we have often done many times before, stayed close on the Galiano Island shore of Active Pass to: 1) avoid crossing Active Pass and 2) to avoid being in the way of any Ferry traffic.
We timed our departure from Montague Harbour to take advantage of the favourable three knot current flowing through Active Pass.
As we entered Active Pass there were three pleasure vessels ahead of us also close on the Galiano shore. Approximately five minutes later three more pleasure vessels entered the Pass, but they chose to stay in the centre of Active Pass. All seven of us were heading toward Georgia Straight.
The three vessels ahead of us rounded the 90 degree corner at Mary Anne Point and disappeared from our view. Shortly thereafter the bow of a BC Ferry started to come into view and began her right hand turn around Mary Anne Point to head south west down Active Pass. The Ferries normally sound their Horn as they approach this Blind corner. We are always listen for a horn as we approach these blind corners but we do not alway hear them, partly due to engine noise in our enclosed cockpit. We did not hear the Ferry's horn on this occasion, which is of no great concern to us, as we always assume there might be a Ferry and are careful to be close to shore and thereby out of their way.
As the Ferry continued her turn she appeared to be heading closer to Galiano than we were accustomed to seeing. While we were quite close to shore already, we could get a little closer, so we did. The Ferry passed safely, in our opinion, by us. We thought no more about encounter.
A few weeks after this I was contacted by the RCMP (Galiano Detachment) about this incident and I gave my recollection of the event. A few weeks after that, I was called again and this time the officer explained that in his investigation he had come to the conclusion that I had NOT operated my vessel in a careless or reckless manner but that I had violated Rule 9 of the Collision Regulations.
This rule has a number of sections, but the one in question was sec (a) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her Starboard side as is safe and practicable. I had Galiano Is on my Port side. The concern was that by ignoring this RULE I had acted in a "Careless and Reckless Manner" and so the charge was laid against me.
I contacted the Canadian Coast Guard for their opinion and was told "Rule 9" does NOT APPLY TO ACTIVE PASS. The CCG referred me to Ottawa and Transport Canada, who referred me to the Pacific region (who were very pleasant to deal with). These people were very clear about this matter and confirmed that Rule 9 does not apply to Active Pass. Both of these agencies did add that "only BC Ferries believe this rule applies".
Based on my findings, I decided to fight the charge and plead Not Guilty.
It took 1 & 1/2 years to get to trial. I LOST and was found guilty.
In preparing for the Trial, Rule 9 was my main focus. During the trial however a number of other matters came up that had an effect on the outcome.
The Captain of the Ferry (although he had been advised by another Ferry, of numerous pleasure vessels in Active Pass ahead of him) was only positively aware of one, and that was because that vessel had AIS and was showing on the Ferry's Chart Plotter. That vessel was near centre channel. Because of the other boats position the Captain decided to go as close to Galiano as his Company rules allowed, 600ft. It was only on rounding Mary Anne Point that he saw this vessel and now realized that it was in company with two other vessels . . . and then he saw ME, close to the Galiano Shore. The only option now was for the ferry to go between the three mid-channel boats and me, which he did.
The complaint was filed against me because the Captain believed I was in violation of Rule 9. I pointed out during the trial that "NO where in the Sailing Directions or Pleasure boating guides" is any mention made of Rule 9 applying to Active Pass. In my summation at the end of the trial I again pointed out out that "Nothing was put before the Court" that showed RULE 9 Applies.
The Prosecution also claimed that I had violated the "Port to Port" Rule. I explained to the court that the expression "Port to Port" only comes up in the Collision Regulations under Rule 14. This rule only applies to "Head on Approach" which was not our situation.
In the end the Judge found that Active Pass seemed narrow to him . . . so Rule 9 applied and that Rule 14 (head on) also applied, so he found me guilty.
I did contact Transport Canada here in Vancouver after the trial and spoke with the Acting Manager, Office of Boating Safety, to tell him of the verdict. He was stunned and reconfirmed that the only rule that applies is Rule 8 which essentially says We small vessels (less than 20 meters) must give way etc.
I did also ask him what he thought about the three vessels that were in the centre of the channel, were they in violation of any rule? He replied NO they were not. You can be where ever you want "Just stay out of the way of larger Vessels".
I gave serious thought to an appeal but was to find the costs would be substantial, most likely around $5000.
I have been told that BC Ferries have been frustrated with pleasure boats in Active Pass for many years now and have decided to take a much more aggressive approach to the slightest, in their opinion, violation of any rule.
This situation is most troubling to BC Ferries and for us. We need our boating organizations to get together with BC Ferries and see if we can come up with a solution. Then make every effort to get the word out to the Boating Community before this Cruising Season arrives.
Kind Regards Bill Cowan
Most people probably assume the name Fraser Squadron is derived from the name of the river that divides the communities our squadron serves. In fact, the "Fraser" in Fraser Squadron is derived from Canadian Forces St. Laurent class destroyer the HMCS Fraser (DDH 233). The stag in the squadron burgee is in fact the HMCS Fraser's ship mascot.
HMCS Fraser began life at the Burrard Dry Dock and the Yarrows Shipyard and was commissioned at Esquimalt in 1957. For the first ten years or so of her her life she patrolled Pacific waters before moving to the east coast.
The Fraser was one of the first warships to be designed and built in Canada. The Fraser was the last of the St. Laurent class in active commission. Over the course of her working years she functioned as a destroyer escort, and a destroyer helicopter escort. She was used to demonstrate new Canadian designed technology and was the first Canadian ship to carry an Experimental Towed Array Sonar System and was the first to test the NIXIE torpedo decoy system.