Divers 'very pleased' by small amount of damage caused by grounded barge
CAMPBELL RIVER - After exploring the reef where the American barge "Nana Provider" ran aground, members of a Campbell River dive team are pleased the damage is far less than they feared.
Roger McDonell dove with a team Friday afternoon off of Quadra Island after the barge had been removed. The vessel had been hung up there for six days.
"We were very concerned that any damage in the area, whether it was cables or anything like that might have gone down in the depths, about 70 feet," McDonell said.
McDonell had actually been diving at the location the day before the maritime mishap and says the area, which is five minutes from downtown Campbell River, is one of the region's most popular locations.
He says the sensitive area is home to a pair of wolf eels and unique underwater fauna.
The divers feared they would find widespread damage, but instead say it was limited to a portion of the reef.
"There were large flakes of paint that had come off the barge; I did see one zinc that's usually welded onto the hull that came off; other than that (I'm) very pleased with what I saw today," McDonell said.
Meanwhile, the barge may not have fared as well. It's currently being assessed at a facility located north of Campbell River after being re-floated off the reef.
Transport Canada has confirmed that the hull was compromised and an inspector was due to examine the vessel once it was securely anchored.