Troy Saladana and John Rogers are amazed the 50-metre barge pictured behind them managed to drift to shore without causing any damage.

Troy Saladana and John Rogers are amazed the 50-metre barge pictured behind them managed to drift to shore without causing any damage.

Drifting barge returned to ocean home

A View Royal boater helped rescue a massive barge that drifted to shore in Esquimalt Harbour earlier this month.

  • Nov. 29, 2011 9:00 a.m.

The fast action of a View Royal boater helped rescue a massive barge that drifted to shore in Esquimalt Harbour earlier this month.

Troy Saladana was on his way to the video store the night he got a call from a friend who could see the 50-metre barge from his window. The vessel had broke free of its mooring and was trapped in some rocks just off the shoreline.

“It was so dark outside and hull is all black, so you couldn’t see it until it was right there on the shore,” Saladana said.

Saladana dropped his plans for a quiet evening inside. He and his friend John Rogers, a View Royal councillor, jumped in his zodiac and radioed the joint operations centre to see how they could help.

“I’m out on the water everyday, so I know how to navigate the shallows,” Saladana said.

As neighbours wandered down to the shore to watch, Saladana brought his zodiac alongside the barge and located some thick ropes on its bow. He and Rogers worked together to tie the bow line to the rear of a rescue ship sent out by the Queen’s Harbour Master at CFB Esquimalt.

But just pulling the line of the barge wasn’t enough to free it. Saladana had to push his zodiac at full power against the barge to free it.

He then helped lead the rescue boat out to the mooring where they finally secured the vessel in its proper place.

During cruise ship season, the barge is used as liquid waste storage, where boats unload their sewage before pulling into port. This time of year it’s left empty.

Recent storms and a lack of maintenance caused the ropes holding the vessel to slowly wear out. It likely took hours for the barge to make its way to shore.

“If it had happened during the daylight, we would have seen it a lot sooner,” Saladana said.

Remarkably, the barge didn’t hit anything while it drifted free. But Saladana and Rogers can’t help but think how things could have turned out differently.

“There are million-dollar sailboats on docks out there that it somehow avoided hitting,” Rogers said. “If the wind was blowing the other direction, it could have drifted into the shipyard (of CFB Esquimalt) and could have done a lot of damage.”

The barge itself was also undamaged.

“It could have rolled on its side and filled with water,” Saladana added. “If it wasn’t empty, there could have been a spill to deal with.”

Graciously those scenarios never came to be.

“The whole rescue went very smoothly,” Rogers said. “It was quite an adventure.”

 

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

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

Sooke parks staff are all smiles as they welcome the opportunity to bring the holiday spirit to the community with the hanging of festive décor on light standards. (Contributed - District of Sooke)
Sooke lighting up holiday spirit

Sooke Road roundabout lights up Dec. 1

The growing field lacrosse program at Royal Bay Secondary has produced a number of scholarships for its players to American universities, starting in the fall 2021. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Five Royal Bay students sign Lacrosse scholarships at U.S. universities

“It’s a village that raises these kids,” says lacrosse coach

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Most Read