• 2024 May 23 13:21

    Canadian Coast Guard issues $15,000 fine for a hazardous vessel

    Recently, the Canadian Coast Guard exercised 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, according to the Government of Canada's release. The owner was required to pay within 30 days or to apply for a review hearing with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.

    On April 3, 2024, the Canadian Coast Guard issued a fine to the owner of an unnamed 30 foot sailing vessel located on the Jericho Beach breakwater, Vancouver, British Columbia. The vessel was found to pose a hazard to the marine environment and public safety based on the following criteria:
     The vessel was in a location accessible to the general public, and due to its instability and damaged state, could have caused injury to persons entering.
     The vessel caused structural damage to the administrative building of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the main support beams for the dock beside the building.
     The continued damage to the fiberglass hull of the vessel would produce pollution to the marine environment through broken parts drifting away.

    The issuance of this fine comes after the vessel owner failed to comply with the Canadian Coast Guard’s directions to remove the vessel and take all reasonable measures to prevent pollution from entering the marine environment by January 24, 2024.

    Owners are responsible for the costs of addressing their problem vessel. This includes cleanup or repairs, and any remediation action taken by the Canadian Coast Guard. The Canadian Coast Guard works with vessel owners to address their problem vessels. The issuance of a penalty is a last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted. Under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, the Canadian Coast Guard is required to publicly report the penalties issued to vessel owners on its website.

    This is the third time that a fine has been issued to a hazardous vessel owner in British Columbia and the fourth Administrative Monetary Penalty to be issued in Canada.

    Vessel owners are responsible for maintaining and keeping their vessels in good working order, and properly disposing of the vessel when it reaches the end of its life.

    The Canadian Coast Guard maintains a publicly available national inventory of problem vessels across Canada to better track these vessels and help prioritize which ones should be dealt with first. To date, over 2,000 wrecked, abandoned, or hazardous boats have been reported.

    Since 2016, under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada has funded over 580 projects to remove and dispose of wrecked, abandoned, or hazardous vessels across Canada and has made it illegal to abandon a vessel in Canada’s waters.




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