Strata residents and VPD grapple with ‘abandoned’ boats in False Creek

“We recognize that there are a lot of abandoned boats on the water, and many of those boats are being used as low cost housing,” said Sgt. Steve Addison, Media Relations Manager for the VPD.

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A Yaletown stratum worries about the dozens of boats anchored directly in front of their building in North False Creek, with some generators noisy at night releasing raw sewage and leaking gas into the water.


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“In front of our area there are maybe 25 to 30 or more boats that aren’t moving much and don’t seem to be seaworthy,” said Doug Loughran, a resident of one of the condos that is located right on the dike.

One boat nearly sank recently before the coastguard pulled it up while two others were completely submerged, Loughran said.

In a letter to the VPD and the City of Vancouver, Strata said: “In particular, two boats are running generators after hours and the building manager had to call the VPD boat patrol.”

He said there was noise from the generator between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. and that “on one occasion a boat was dumping raw sewage into the water, and currently a boat is submerged and leaking gas in front of one of the townhouses a few yards from the walkway area.”


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“Additionally, there is a boat with several bicycles on board which are moved to a dinghy and back.”

“It seems there is a network of them selling stolen bikes. We can see new e-bikes and other fancy bikes being put in rowboats and stacked on decks, people changing rooms.

sergeant. Steve Addison, media relations manager for the VPD, said he understands it must be frustrating for residents.

“We recognize that there are a lot of abandoned boats on the water, and many of these boats are used as low cost accommodation. It is unfortunate that some feel compelled to lean into an unsightly situation and it is concerning that some do not feel safe.

Addison said the situation in False Creek “is a bit complicated, partly because the area is a shared responsibility between different agencies and levels of government.”


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He said the VPD marine unit patrols False Creek and can investigate crimes or address security issues. He can write tickets under the Canada Shipping Act for boaters who pollute and those who have exceeded the authorized 14 days in summer and 21 days in winter.

“However, it is difficult to prove whether a boater has overstayed, as their permitted stay is reset each time they leave False Creek and return. Without consistent monitoring, some boaters are able to exploit loopholes.

Long-time boater Richard McDonald said there was an excess of boats on the water because during COVID the rules were relaxed a bit to allow boaters to stay longer than usual. That said, everyone has a license.

“Some of their boats, as you’ve probably noticed, look abandoned. They’re not all bad guys, bad guys, but their boats aren’t the best maintained.


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The City has raised concerns with Heather Civic Marina, which issues the permits.

A spokesperson for Heather Marina said this allowed the Parks Board to know which boats had and did not have permits.

But the Parks Board told Postmedia that “this waterway is outside the jurisdiction of the Parks and Recreation Board” and that those concerns should be directed to the city and the VPD.

The False Creek Port Authority responded to residents saying it was a commercial fishing port with no authority outside their water body. “We sympathize with your plight. They often cause problems for us and our boaters.

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