Beached boats continue to plague Oak Bay shore

Police respond to various concerns raised about boats along local beaches

Work undertaken on this beached sailboat concerned a local resident but police say no contaminants are fouling the beach. Police will continue to monitor the shoreline for derelict vessels left above high tide.

Boats beached on the weekend were expected afloat once tides rose, say Oak Bay Police.

Two boats, both owned and occupied, were beached when the tide went out, said Deputy Chief Kent Thom.

A concerned resident called police who went out to chat with the owner of the larger boat.

They found the owner had allowed the boat to beach as he prepares to sell the long-time live-aboard in the face of health issues with his wife.

“He’s just doing some maintenance. There’s no paint being spilled on the beach or anything,” Thom said Monday morning.

“Both boats should be moved as soon as the tide comes back in.”

The concern is just one Oak Bay faces along the shoreline, but among the issues they nibble away at.

For instance, several boats up against the bank nestled into the shrubbery are already under the eye of the municipality and province.

“They’ve been there for years and they’re derelict. There’s always an issue with the cost of removing them and the jurisdiction. … All throughout the summer we do marine patrols with the RCMP along the water,” Thom said. “We’re going to enter into some discussions with the RCMP members, they’re very knowledgable of ownership of vessels on the water.”

As always, those conversations include provincial, federal and local authorities as waterways and shorlines have mixed jurisdiction.

However, the municipality has control over, and clears out, the beaches as a matter of routine, pulling dinghies and other small vessels left above high tide.

In addition to the regular signage at high-use areas, the district bylaw officer often issues a warning and tries to find the owners. The vessels are then removed by the municipality and left for pick-up at the police office at 1703 Monterey Ave.

“The municipality last said there are about 14 small craft they’re going to be bringing in and storing here,” Thom said.

“It’s not an easy fix it’s just something we chip away at a little at a time.”