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Notorious cargo ship torn down in Nanaimo

Notorious cargo ship torn down in Nanaimo
Dec 02, 2019

NANAIMO — An infamous cargo ship once filled with asylum seekers has been dismantled on Nanaimo’s waterfront and trucked away.

Tearing apart the Sri Lankan based MV Sun Sea from the former Nanaimo Shipyard property was completed last week, according to Canadian Maritime Engineering (CME) project manager Jim Drummond.

He said there was plenty of local interest in getting rid of the derelict 52-metre vessel.

“At the start of the project I had a little bit of time to engage with some of them,” Drummond said. “There’s one group of people that came and hung out for 10 or 15 minutes everyday just to see the ongoing progress.”

The 770 tonne ship had 492 asylum seekers aboard when it was intercepted by Canadian naval authorities and towed to Esquimalt in August, 2010.

Drummond said sub-contractors recycled and landfilled the ship’s materials at local and out-of-province disposal facilities.

CME secured a $4.1 million contract from the federal government to dispose of the boat, which began in October.

The notorious boat was docked in Nanaimo on Newcastle Channel from 2010 to 2012.

Only one person was convicted for the human smuggling case of the MV Sun Sea.

Drummond believed their company will help get rid of more large derelict boats in Nanaimo the future.

“They’re just coming into acquiring the right funding to be able to action these things so we can start to clean up the coast,” Drummond said.

CME also disposed of The Vicki Lynn ll in 2016, which was abandoned and with thousands of litres of oil in Ladysmith Harbour.