Diver pulls trash from submerged vessels

Propane tanks and other debris removed from boats that have been siting offshore from Oak Bay for two months

Garbage was removed from two sunken boats that have been sitting near the entrance to the Oak Bay Marina for the past two months.

Garbage was removed from two sunken boats that have been sitting near the entrance to the Oak Bay Marina for the past two months.

A pair of sunken boats boast a little less trash thanks to a diver answering the call of a young child.

The two tethered sunken vessels off Beach Drive, a sailboat and a powerboat, were reported to Transport Canada in March. C-Tow Victoria had offered to pull the boats ashore, but a Transport Canada spokesperson said they had no authority to remove the boats unless they obstruct navigation, adding Transport Canada was attempting to contact the registered owner.

In the following wave of media coverage, Christopher Porter of WildVision Edutainment spotted an area of concern and was drawn particularly by the plea of a young girl among those voicing concern over propane tanks and other debris associated with the vessels.

“I swam out there about two-and-a-half weeks ago and took some video,” said Porter, who used to work at Sealand of the Pacific, an aquarium in Oak Bay that closed in 1992.

He did two more dives to remove garbage and the propane tanks.

“The sailboat is what I was focusing on because you have to wait to low tide to get on it … There must have been eight bags of garbage,” Porter said. “I’ve taken all the ropes off so animals can’t get tangled … There’s so much life out there, it’s sad to see it.”

He’s filed with the receiver of wrecks to undertake the work.

“They’re still leaking fuel and oil, there’s a big skim. It’s not very nice, there’s a lot of bad stuff out there,” Porter said. “I’m just doing it because it’s not going to get clean and safe. They’re definitely a hazard to the environment … it’s not clean. I come back [up from a dive] and my suit’s all gummed up. I’m shocked at it to be honest.”