The French Creek Base of the Coast Guard was called in to the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay on Sunday, Jan. 12 for a severe windstorm. Crews returned on Monday to help clean up the damage done to the marina and boats. (Emily Vance photo)

‘It was mayhem’: Storm causes huge damage at Vancouver Island marina

Boat crashes ashore, 150 feet of breakwater crumbles at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay

Boat owners were struggling Monday morning, dealing with damage to their vessels at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay after a severe windstorm, combined with high tides, shook the east coast of Vancouver Island on Sunday.

One boat crashed onto a nearby shore after being blown off its moorings, while multiple others moored in the marina are punctured, scraped and battered. People were turning up in the middle of the night to try and secure their boats.

The marina itself also sustained serious damage from the elements. Approximately 150 feet of the breakwater has been knocked down by massive waves caused by the winds. Residents say once the breakwater started to fall, the waves began to batter the marinas outer docks.

Some of the docks themselves have come apart, while other sit half-sunken in the water.

Beachcomber resident Marijke Oudshoorn says she’s never seen anything like it in her 14 years living in the area.

“My God, the wind was so wild,” said Oudshoorn. “How do you describe that?

“It was howling in here, it was howling so hard. You could hear it in the house.”

READ MORE: Power restored to 12,000 homes and businesses across Parksville Qualicum Beach

Oudshoorn heard from a neighbour who lives just above where the boat crashed onto the rocks. The crash happened around 7 p.m. on Sunday night.

Morgan Chisholm with the Canadian Coast Guard’s French Creek Base says that unusual northwesterly gale force storm winds were the cause of the wreckage at the Nanoose Bay harbour.

The Coast Guard was called in Sunday night to secure boats that were in danger of pulling off the docks, and ensure that nobody was injured.

“We showed up last night and tried to assist. It was dangerous even getting on these docks. … You can see, it was mayhem down here last night. Luckily no one was hurt, that’s the most important part,” said Chisholm.

Coast Guard crews returned Monday (Jan. 13) with a spill response team to minimize the impact of the damage.

“Now it’s just a matter of cleaning up. We came down here this morning, to make sure there was no pollution. The pollution is very very minimal, so that’s good news.”

Beachcomber’s strata manager Chris Rose says that before the sun went down, waves were blowing over the breakwater.

READ MORE: BC Ferries seeing serious delays after high winds

“Everything was up. When the waves were coming in, the splashes were coming over the top of the breakwater. Everything was moving. One of them – there’s a sailboat down there where its mainsail had come unfurled a little bit, and it was flapping to beat the band,” said Rose.

“They were re-lining, or putting in lines on some of the bigger boats to try and keep them in. One of them had pulled its cleats right from the dock … and then away it went. I think we’re lucky we only lost one,” said Rose.

Local boat owner Guy Gauvin says he’s working on replacing all his mooring lines and three or four fenders he lost in the storm. His boat also broke its stern line and stern mooring line, and the bow hit a piling. He says he’ll be checking his boat more often after this.

“You tend to assume after you’ve been here a few years that everything is fine. But when a wind like yesterday perks up, it’s time to come and check everything,” said Gauvin.

emily.vance@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A boat came unmoored on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay and crashed on the rocks of a nearby shore. Coast Guard members say the boat’s owner has been notified. (Emily Vance photo)

Approximately 150 feet of the breakwater at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay has crumbled after gale-force northwesterly winds combined with a high tide battered the rocks on Sunday, Jan. 12. (Emily Vance photo)

Just Posted

Woman comes home to ‘entirely different’ Victoria after cruise ship, military base quarantine

Melanie Sibbitt booked herself a last-minute vacation on a cruise ship hit by COVID-19

Victoria street nurse thanks public for outpouring of donations

Businesses and individuals donated gloves, masks, sanitizers and more to frontline workers

COVID-19: Victoria moves homeless into 35 hotel rooms across the city

Mayor pleads with residents to stay inside during pandemic

Wheelchair user asks people to leave space on sidewalks to socially distance

Wendy Cox says many people are not stepping off the sidewalk to allow her space

Victoria brewery uses 3D-printer to make face shields for health care workers

Phillips Brewing is teaming up with engineers to create single-use medical equipment

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Most Read