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Coast guard issues first-ever fine for abandoned vessel in Victoria

An oily sheen is seen in the water near an overturned derelict boat that washed ashore at Cadboro Bay, B.C., in December 2015. (CTV News) An oily sheen is seen in the water near an overturned derelict boat that washed ashore at Cadboro Bay, B.C., in December 2015. (CTV News)
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The Canadian Coast Guard has issued its first fine against the owner of a derelict and abandoned vessel under a federal law that took effect four years ago.

A statement from the coast guard says the agency levied a fine of $15,000 against the owner of a boat that was grounded and abandoned in Cadboro Bay, near Victoria.

The owner of the Akoo, an eight-metre cabin cruiser, was fined on June 27 and is required to either pay the fine or apply for a review hearing with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada within 30 days.

The coast guard says the fine was issued after the vessel owner failed to comply with the agency's orders to remove the wrecked boat from the area.

The fine was the first time the coast guard exercised its authority to issue a monetary penalty under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, which became law in July 2019.

The coast guard says it responded to the Akoo several times in recent months, including when the vessel first drifted ashore.

The agency says the vessel discharged pollution into the water and began to deteriorate, posing a public safety hazard.

More than 2,000 wrecked or abandoned boats have been reported to the coast guard since it implemented a national inventory of problem vessels, with the majority of those vessels reported in British Columbia.

The agency says the federal government has funded nearly 500 projects to remove problem vessels from Canadian  marine areas since 2016.

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