Hamilton has a mysterious shipwreck, it’s jammed into the harbour bottom just off Bayfront Park.
The grey Viking 28 sailboat named Kraken is in shallow water with its headsail in a heap on the foredeck, and what looks to be an anchor keeping it from drifting away.
The Hamilton Police Marine Unit don’t know much about it.
“Kraken is a privately owned vessel that has been anchored by the owner. However the owner is not in a position to move it,” says Hamilton Police spokesperson Krista-Lee Ernst.
Kraken is now a “vessel of concern” and is being investigated by the the Coast Guard.
“The Canadian Coast Guard is currently evaluating the abandoned vessel’s level of hazard,” says Jeremy Hennessy, CCG spokesperson.
The Coast Guard is determining if Kraken is a threat to the environment. Threats would include leaking fuel, sinking, releasing debris, running adrift and becoming a hazard to navigation.
While the sad little sailboat off Bayfront Park might seem like a rare curiosity, there are thousands of boats abandoned in Canadian waters.
A search of the CCG current list of abandoned boats is running at just over 1,700. Owners are liable for damage from pollution and for the costs of removal. If the owner can’t or won’t pay, the government might step in, but salvage costs can run from the thousands to millions.
While abandoned boats are rare on Hamilton Harbour, there are over 40 reported along the west end of Lake Ontario. In some cases the CCG says people walk away from them because they can’t afford the costs of docking, winter storage, fuel and upkeep.
Based on the CCG workload it seems like Kraken might be a fixture on the waterfront for months to come.