Boaters say proposals cast them adrift
Proposed changes to the Nanaimo Port Authority’s moorage policy could force some liveaboards to weigh anchor and leave home port in their wake.
The proposed changes include a 14-day anchoring restriction within a 30-day period, a six-month extended stay permit, and requirements for holding tanks and logs for sewage discharge, as well as insurance.
People have until Feb. 2 to comment on the proposals.
Many liveaboards like Brunie Brunie, 66, and Norman Brook, 51, have called Nanaimo home for 10 or more years and say they won’t leave.
“I will fight to the death,” said Brunie, who has lived aboard her 1939 Lapstrake, MagicMade, for more than 20 years. “If they’re going to kick me off, they’re going to have to do it and blow me out of the water, and I’ll get all the TV cameras there when they do it.”
Brook, who has lived in the harbour for more than 12 years, said harbour residents could take the matter to court.
“We’ll have to fight it in court because this is precedent setting. If they do it here, there is nothing to stop it happening everywhere in Canada,” he said.
Andrew Pitcher, harbour master and manager of operations for the Port Authority, said the changes are to make people more responsible for their vessels. Pitcher said some changes are proposed because of boats running aground and the NPA left footing the bill.
Last year, the authority salvaged two boats at Newcastle Island, costing $40,000. “Most of the time when we [salvage a boat], the owner just walks away from the boat,” said Pitcher.
Brook and Brunie said the proposals are over-regulating. They say requiring insurance is a way for the port to get rid of liveaboards, because many can’t afford it.
The proposal would require $1 million third party liability and an additional $500,000 of pollution liability insurance if the vessel’s fuel capacity is more than 100 litres. The owner would have to have coverage for the entire stay in the harbour.
“We can’t comply with the insurance so it’s not only kicking our house out of the water, but our business has to leave too,” said Brook, who operates NAB Marine Electrical and Shipwrighting from his vessel.
Pitcher said if feedback indicates the insurance is too costly, the port will re- examine the proposals.
“We have to listen to public input,” he said.
Brook is a member of the Nanaimo Harbour Boater Community, an organization of 54 boaters, including 26 liveaboards and several boaters who moor their vessels in the harbour and live in the area.
Brook said if the organization hadn’t formed, the boaters would already have been forced out of the harbour.
But both Brunie and Brook support the requirement to have a holding tank to discharge sewage in approved facilities.
“The ocean is our yard. We respect it ... we are totally for that because we don’t want to be dumping in our yard,” said Brook.The proposed changes are online at www.npa.ca or at the NPA office at 104 Front Street.
Pitcher said there has been both positive and negative feedback so far.
After the Feb. 2 input deadline, the port authority will review comments and redraft the proposal.
Rescues, injuries as big seas hit coast
Lifesavers had a busy day on south-east Queensland beaches as king tides created sudden and dangerous rips.
Thirteen people were pulled from the surf at Surfers Paradise and another five rescues were necessary along other Gold Coast beaches.First aid was given to five surfers, two of whom were hospitalised with neck and shoulder injuries.On the Sunshine Coast, a shark sighting saw beaches at Maroochydore and Alexandra Headland closed for the remainder of the day.A report of two girls missing on an unpatrolled beach at Coolum sparked a two-and-a-half hour search which proved fruitless.
Surf lifesaving spokeswoman Kaitlyn Akers said there was no evidence on the beach of the girl's presence and the search was called off.Another pair of females had to be rescued after they were swept 200 metres out to sea when they entered the water into a rip.
"They didn't walk an extra 50 metres to the flagged patrolled area and walked straight into a rip,'' Ms Akers said.Another two surfers were taken to hospital as a precaution after sustaining head injuries in the wild surf.Ms Akers said conditions were improving on all but those beaches exposed to south-east winds.
She urged swimmers to stay between the flags."We set the flags where we do for a reason,'' Ms Akers said.
Coast Guard swimmer receives medal for rescues
The News Journal
The Coast Guard awarded it’s Air Medal today to one of its own for his role in two rescues off Delaware and Maryland.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Tye Conklin, a rescue swimmer from the Atlantic City air station, received the medal at the Hughes Technical Center in Pomona, N.J. Capt. Paul Ratte, commanding officer of the air station, made the presentation.Conklin rescued two crewman from the research boat Russell W. Peterson on May 12.
The Peterson had been 14 miles off Rehoboth Beach, its legs screwed into the ocean floor as the crew collected data on migratory bird patterns for Bluewater Wind LLC's proposed offshore wind farm, when a coastal storm slammed the mid-Atlantic area.
The captain of the Peterson, 61-year-old John Moyse, died. The boat later ran aground at Bethany Beach.Conklin also rescued one person from a sailboat that ran aground off Ocean City, Md., the Coast Guard reported in a news release.