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Vancouver barge to be cut into pieces, removed from beach

The famed barge’s days at Sunset Beach are numbered as plans take shape for removal
An unmoored barge ran aground at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (Jorge Amigo)

It looks as though the Vancouver barge that washed ashore during the November floods is about to be evicted.

Sentry Marine Towing — the company that has tried everything to get the barge unstuck from Sunset Beach — has come up with a plan to cut the barge into pieces. Those pieces will then be towed to a shipyard in Tacoma, WA.

Previous attempts to dislodge the barge using tugboats failed. The company has said that another tow attempt could result in the barge sinking

Vancouver Pile Driving has been contracted to complete the removal work. In a statement to Black Press, the company said a marine habitat assessment has been conducted, as well as a structural assessment of the barge and obtaining permits from the Department of Fishers and Oceans.

Work permits are being expedited and the company expects to begin dismantling the barge sometime in the next month. Once work begins it’ll continue for 12 to 15 weeks. A fence will be erected around the barge to keep the public away from the worksite.

In its brief sojourn at Sunset Beach, the barge has become a Vancouver celebrity. The barge inspired several clever social media posts, enterprising Vancouver residents made barge t-shirts and the Vancouver Park Board dubbed the area “Barge Chilling Beach” as a nod to the city’s Dude Chilling Park.

The temporary sign went up in December 2021 and was twice vandalized with the Indigenous place name Í7iy̓el̓shn which means “good underfoot.” The beach is in the overlapping territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. The sign was removed in late January as plans to remove the barge began to take shape.

READ MORE: Vancouver’s ‘Barge Chilling Beach’ sparks conversation over Indigenous place names


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