Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder
When the damaged Descanso Bay emergency wharf on Gabriola will be replaced and up and running is unknown as of mid-September, according to the Regional District of Nanaimo.
The regional district, who owns and operates the wharf, is finalizing its insurance claim and drafting a replacement plan, said Darren Marshall, RDN senior manager of transportation services. The wharf, one piling and the gangway were all removed from the bay on Sept. 11.
In early August, a deadhead log caused significant damage to the wharf when it became lodged under the southeast corner of the float, ultimately breaking some of the longitudinal timbers between two mooring piles. High winds on Sept. 7 produced a new set of problems when the wharf broke in two sections and a pile became dislodged.
“The gangway is being inspected for further damage and if it needs to be replaced it will delay the replacement of the wharf,” Marshall said on Sept. 15. The RDN will procure a replacement wharf, but there is no timeline now as to how long that will take, nor is there a cost estimate at this time. A report will go to the board of directors, but staff have not determined when that may happen.
In mid-August, the RDN said Green Wharf would need to be used by emergency personnel for up to five weeks while the Descanso Bay emergency wharf was repaired.
Andrew Morancy, Unit Chief for the BC Emergency Health Services Station 153 (Gabriola), said, “we’d like to thank all the members of the public who have helped to keep the area on Green Wharf available for the ambulance crews. Both on the road itself, and in keeping a space clear on the dock for emergency vessels to tie up.”