Last month was the coldest February on record for Vancouver, and the wild weather didn’t stop with the frozen temperatures. High winds and unprecedented snowstorms wreaked havoc, and RCMSAR Stations all over the province were called to action. While warmer weather and sunnier skies are hopefully in the forecast for spring, Ian Grantham, Coxswain and Station Leader for Station 1, West Vancouver shares what happened over one unbelievable weekend in February.
The weekend of February 8th was crazy windy with sustained winds above 40kts gusts to over 50 in Howe Sound directly from the North, which pushed them into Horseshoe Bay.
Sewell’s Marina, which has been in place for well over 50 years, was partially destroyed by the large waves. A few pleasure craft in the marina were destroyed as well as a good portion of the Sewell’s rental fleet. Waves were easily 6-7 feet in the bay crashing on the dock and the breakwater and West Van Fire closed the pier in fears that perhaps we were in for another White Rock situation.
A large concrete barge was sunk at the main breakwater and is currently still on the bottom along with several outboards, a couple of forklifts and the entire workshop. Several Station 1 members volunteered and helped Sewells and Mercury Marine relocate some of the vessels as well as re-secure many others in quite aggressive conditions.
We were able to relocate our boat temporarily to Fisherman`s Cove gas dock for the weekend until Sewell`s could bring another barge in place to act as a breakwater. Clean-up from this weekend of storms will take several more weeks.