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Photos: Barge Goes Aground on Downtown Vancouver Waterfront

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Image courtesy City of Vancouver

Published Nov 18, 2021 2:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

The severe weather that struck Vancouver, British Columbia last weekend took out all rail service to the busy Port of Vancouver, shutting a key supply chain node for containerized cargo for the Canadian market. It also tore loose a barge in English Bay, briefly prompting concerns of a bridge strike. 

The barge eventually ran aground at Sunset Beach, just a short distance from the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver's stylish West End district. It has remained firmly lodged there since, high and dry on a rocky shore.

The barge has become something of a local fixture - a relatively harmless, pollution-free and (to some) charming addition to the waterfront. A local humorist swiftly set up a Twitter account as the "EnglishBayBarge" and began documenting the grounding from the barge's perspective. 

The vessel's owner, Sentry Marine, told local media that the barge had been properly moored but that extreme weather conditions tore it loose. At the time of the grounding, the tide was at a high of nearly 15 feet above MLLW, and it will not reach that point again until this Sunday. That will be the next opportunity for a refloat attempt, and the owner plans to send a number of large tugs. An initial attempt to pull the barge off the beach with one small tug was not successful.

Transport Canada is monitoring the grounding situation.