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Storm Wreaks Havoc in Vancouver

Two of the four boats that washed up on the Kits Beach in Vancouver, B.C., after they dragged anchor in English Bay during yesterday’s big blow.

© 2010 Denise Brook

The south coast of British Columbia was pummeled by a winter-like storm yesterday, with winds up to 54 knots downing trees, killing power to 6,000 people, and sending several boats onto Vancouver beaches. Vancouver-based cruisers Wayne and Elly Smith of the Stan Huntingford 47 Zeppelin — who, last we heard, were in Catalina — forwarded these photos taken by friend Denise Brook of some of the wreckage. "Four boats washed up on Kits Beach and one at Vanier," said Brook. "Of course, the boat owners are blaming it on the city for kicking them out of False Creek."

Instead of seeking shelter in the face of the oncoming fury, several former False Creek anchor-outs took their chances in English Bay.

© 2010 Denise Brook
Some who lost their boats in the blow are blaming authorities for not letting them live regulation-free in a highly congested boating area.

© 2010
False Creek is a very narrow stretch of water with limited anchoring room. The city’s regulations forced those who wanted to live there permanently to find other accommodations — some chose the unprotected waters of English Bay.

© 2010 Google Earth

Faced with increasing numbers of anchor-outs and derelicts calling False Creek home, the city implemented time limits for the anchorage. Summer stays are limited to two weeks out of the month, while the winter limit is three weeks every 40 days, though they are allowed to seek shelter there during storms. "The owners are responsible for their safety and property," city official Jerry Dobrovlny told The Province newspaper. "As a boat owner it’s not a good choice to be in an exposed body of water during a windstorm."

Grounded boats are always a heartbreaking sight.

© 2010 Denise Brook

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