Barge remains aground in English Bay after crash into Vancouver’s seawall

An attempt to refloat the barge that had run aground on Vancouver’s seawall was unsuccessful on Tuesday.

Taryn Scollard, deputy general manager of engineering at the City of Vancouver, said the coast guard and police were on hand in case the barge struck the Burrard Bridge.

The barge’s owners attempted to move the barge at high tide on Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokesperson from the Canadian Coast Guard.

“As [Tuesday’s] attempt to remove the barge was not successful, the Canadian Coast Guard will require the owner to develop a secondary plan to remove the barge,” the spokesperson said.


A giant barge has smacked into Vancouver’s iconic seawall — just short of the Burrard Bridge — after becoming unmoored in Monday’s rain and wind storm. 

The Canadian Coast Guard said the barge owner is aware of the grounding and has planned to retrieve it as soon as possible. The owner will be responsible for securing, salvaging and arranging a tow for the barge. 

The barge initially appeared to be heading toward the Burrard Bridge, but ran aground at Sunset Beach. 

The City of Vancouver closed the Burrard Bridge at 7 p.m. Monday, in case the barge comes loose and collides with the bridge. It says an attempt to remove the barge is planned for high tide on Tuesday afternoon. 

The coast guard said it is not aware of any people on board or any risks of pollution. There are no hydrocarbons on board. 

A barge crashed into the seawall near Sunset Beach on the afternoon of Nov. 15 amid high winds and heavy rain. (Matt Meus)

Rainfall warnings remain in effect across southern B.C., where parts of the province have seen up to 230 millimetres of rain in just 24 hours. On Monday afternoon, a wind warning came into effect for Metro Vancouver. Northwest winds, especially along the coast, were forecast to gust between 70 and 90 km/h. 

The Vancouver Park Board has closed the seawall and Stanley Park due to high winds. It advises everyone in the city to be extra alert, particularly around large trees, and asks that people report tree issues through VanConnect or 311.

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