The decrepit vessel that arrived in the B.C. waters about 13 years ago was loaded with Sri Lankans fleeing the war-torn homeland and is now being broken up for scrap after it was long abandoned in the coastal waters.
MV Mini Fusion, earlier called the MV Ocean Lady, arrived loaded with 76 individuals. The arrival captured international attention.
It was reportedly suspected but not proven that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam utilized the vessel for carrying Tamil migrants to B.C.
Those who were on board were detained immediately in jails in Vancouver. Most were let go within a few weeks or months, and one was retained in custody on suspicion of the Tamil Tiger terror group.
Renamed the MV Mini Fusion, the cargo vessel that measures 56 meters in length was wound up, abandoned, and anchored in Doctor Bay near Cortes Island.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) mentioned on 15 August that the Canadian Coast Guard was able to get rid of the hazardous substances from the vessel back in 2021 to protect the waters from pollution, including the removal of about 32,000 litres of fuel, oily wastewater, and oil.
Despite that work, DFO mentioned that the vessel was recognized as a hazard and that deconstruction was necessary to mitigate the danger presented to the marine environment.
Following a bidding process, the Marine Recycling Corporation will salvage appropriate material and recycle scrap metal.
DFO mentioned that the MV Mini Fusion was carried to Duncan Bay from Doctor Bay for the work. The vessel was placed on a submersible dry dock to reduce environmental threats.
The work is being carried out under the Wrecked, Abandoned, or Hazardous Vessels Act.
Abandoned and wrecked vessels pose a grave concern owing to the risks they pose to marine ecosystems and surrounding communities, mentioned Joyce Murray, Vancouver Quadra MP and the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. The Canadian government is taking action to remove the potential polluters and help communities keep the coastal waters safe and clean.
The ship was reportedly constructed in Japan in 1990 as a general cargo vessel at 346 gross tons. It measured 56 meters in length.
References: Bowen Island Under Current