Owning a vessel comes with a lot of responsibilities, there’s no doubt about that. Boats require a lot of tender love and care throughout every stage of their life, all the way until she’s hauled out for the last time and disposed of correctly, yet that last step is often abandoned. Unfortunately, some vessels are left derelict. Derelict vessels are not only exceptionally ugly in most cases, but they can also pose navigational and environmental threats and even safety risks.
Boating BC supports the assessment, removal, and disposal of abandoned boats in Canadian waters, and has created the Abandoned Boats Education Awareness Campaign as an “opportunity to educate recreational boaters and the recreational boating industry and increase awareness of the responsibility to manage their vessel through to the end of its life,” explains Association President Don Prittie.
The three-year Awareness Campaign will include radio, print, web-based, and social media content and will be leveraged through municipal and industry gatherings.
Abandoned boats can leak toxins, putting marine life and their habitats at risk as well as possibly harming beachgoers and affecting waterfront businesses and local economies. “We know the vast majority of boaters are responsible, but not all – and we need to ensure this issue is not a recurring one,” Prittie continues. “Step one is educating and holding boat owners accountable for their vessels and ensuring they know how and where they can dispose of them.”
If you have a vessel nearing the end of its life that will soon need to be disposed of, visit boatingbc.ca/boatdisposal to discover local boat disposal services and browse frequently asked questions to get you going in a safe direction.