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Sidney owner of sunken vessel in Roberts Bay says he won’t walk away

Joe Quin hopes to have the Maud J afloat again on Thursday

The owner of the semi-submerged vessel in Sidney’s Roberts Bay says it’s not clear why it took on water but he hopes to have it afloat by 5 a.m. Thursday.

“Otherwise, it’s another day and a salvage crew,” he said, adding he’s working closely with the Canadian Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “To the public, I want to say I’m really sorry … and I’m doing everything in my power.”

Joe Quin, an area resident, made these comments after a conversation with the crew of a Canadian Coast Guard Zodiac near his vessel, named Maud J. Quin paddled out on a canoe wearing a wet suit.

“The coast guard was just out there, they had a look and they are just amazed,” he said, when asked about the 100 litres of diesel said to be on board the vessel.

“It’s actually really clean,” he said. “Whatever you have been doing, keep doing it.”

Quin had sailed the vessel to Roberts Bay from Cowichan Bay, with an eye toward hauling it out of the water at Canoe Cove, after having purchased it some three months again in Ladysmith.

“They were busy, I was starting to think about other options, but it was too late. The thing went to the … bottom. I was not expecting that.”

RELATED: Vessel remains partially submerged in Sidney’s Roberts Bay

Quin arrived Monday, anchoring about 200 yards further off-shore from its current location. “(I did) everything I was supposed to do,” he said in describing his mooring procedure. Quin, who said he lives “around the corner” from Roberts Bay, then rowed ashore and went to sleep. “(I) woke up to a horror show,” he said.

It’s not clear why the boat took on water. “That’s what I am waiting to find out, ” he said. “Once I get it pumped out, I will be able to find it (the cause). There are only three ways it could have taken on that much water that fast — sprung a plank, which I won’t be able to fix, blew a thru-hull … or going through the shaft.”

Quin said the vessel arrived at Roberts Bay under her own power with Quin’s social media showing the vessel sailing next to larger commercial vessels.

According to Nauticapedia, the wooden-hulled Maud J was built in 1939 and is 40 feet long with a gross tonnage of 14.88. Its screw propeller runs on a 36-horsepower diesel engine.

“A beautiful wooden vessel,” said Quinn of her.

Quin said a local company has already come forward to deal with the boat’s disposal if he chooses that route, adding that he has done everything possible and more to deal with any potential environmental problems.

“Coast guard is happy with me,” he said. “I have done everything I can over and above. So they are used to people sinking sh** and walking away. I’m not that guy.”


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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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