Mayor of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia wants abandoned ships removed from dock – Halifax

The mayor of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, is pushing for a plan to remove three abandoned ships from a dock in the area.

The only word he can use to describe them: horror.

“Just by looking at them you can see they are an eyesore,” Mayor David Mitchell said, adding that one of the boats is currently full of water.

“It’s a constant topic of discussion for residents.”

The mayor of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, is hoping a development company can come up with a plan to remove three abandoned ships from a local wharf.

Callum Smith/World News

Abandoned vessels in the LaHave River, which runs through the town of Bridgewater, are nothing new to residents.

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In 2020, the former HMCS Cormorant had to be towed away for dismantling. The abandoned ship had been idle for about 20 years after being decommissioned by the Navy in 1997.

“We’re glad it’s gone … but there’s still a lot to do,” said Troy Conrad, the manager of a nearby store who sees the ships daily.

“It’s truly a horror as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t reflect very well on Bridgewater, I don’t think.

As for how long these ships have been here, it is difficult to say. Jonah Doherty rented waterfront accommodation for about 14 years and says he saw the boats there all the time.

“I mean, they don’t bother me much, but they’re not particularly pretty,” he said.

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The federal government once owned the wharf, but sold it for a dollar a few decades ago. The city could have purchased the dock, but residents say the council decided not to.

David Mitchell, mayor of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, is pushing for a plan to remove three abandoned ships from a dock in the area.

Callum Smith/World News

Mitchell said a development company – United Gulf Developments Ltd. – took over the wharf and surrounding area a few years ago, so the city has no say in what happens now.

In 2019, the Wrecked, Abandoned or Dangerous Ships Act came into force. Its goal is to combat “irresponsible vessel management” by prohibiting the abandonment of vessels and granting enhanced federal powers to deal with “vessels of concern” before they become a risk.

“I think there’s a little relief that we’re not anticipating new ships coming in,” Mitchell said.

“It doesn’t really help us in this situation because it depends on their owner. If there is an owner, are they abandoned? If they were abandoned here, then they are, but it’s a private dock – not a government dock – so there are still a few hoops to jump through to get rid of them.

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PKBNEWS contacted United Gulf Developments Ltd. by phone and email Monday, but has not yet received a response.

Meanwhile, the mayor has a message for the company.

“We are willing to work with them because we are excited about the potential of this property,” he said.

Regardless of whether a proposal is presented, the mayor said several rounds of public consultation should take place.

&copy 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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