A number of boats were grounded along the shores of the Nicomekl in last weekend's windstorm.

A number of boats were grounded along the shores of the Nicomekl in last weekend's windstorm.

South Surrey boaters feel the weather

Last weekend's storm trigger a chaotic afternoon along the Nicomekl River Friday, after a yacht broke away from its mooring.

Last weekend’s storm may not have packed its forecasted punch, but it did trigger a chaotic afternoon along the Nicomekl River in South Surrey Friday, after a yacht from one of three marinas along the waterway broke away from its mooring.

Ari Vodopyanov, a director of the Mud Bay Yacht Club at Wards Marina, said the manned vessel – which he described as the largest at the Nico Wynd Marina – caused in excess of $20,000 damage to boats and sundry equipment by the time the ordeal was over.

“The bottom line is that they broke off their dock and went smashing into other stuff and smashing into the rocks,” Vodopyanov told Peace Arch News.

“Six boats were seriously damaged, four moorings/anchors were severed, a dinghy sunk and a man nearly drowned.”

Vodopyanov said the events unfolded between noon and 6 p.m. Friday (Oct. 14), after he noticed that the wind was starting to push a solar panel off of a sailboat that was anchored near his own.

Vodopyanov said after he rowed out to put the secure the panel, he saw the yacht had knocked three boats off their moorings. Its anchor pierced one vessel’s deck; its bowsprit entangled in another sailboat’s lines.

In the meantime, the storm tore another rig off its mooring, sending a large float and two rafted boats onto a grassy area of the dike.

After helping the owner of the grounded vessels, Vodopyanov said he helped untangle the yacht and suggested securing them to a nearby mooring to keep the vessel from running aground. The occupants declined, and as Vodopyanov was checking on the rig owner, he saw the yacht had beached.

He assisted the yacht back into the water, where it dropped anchor. While that was underway, according to Vodopyanov, the 73-year-old rig owner was thrown into the river when he rowed out in his dinghy to drop anchor for another vessel that beached after the yacht severed its line, and was swamped by a wave. Fortunately, the senior was wearing a lifejacket and was able to swim to shore.

During efforts to pull other boats off shore, the yacht severed more lines and again became grounded, said Vodopyanov.

Another boat owner, Robert Melynchuk, said his anchor chain was among those cut; he estimated that damage at $5,000.

“He went around the whole marina erratically,” Melynchuk said of the yacht.

Vodopyanov said while the Coast Guard was called, they weren’t needed.

The yacht owner, he said, reached out Monday to offer to sit down with those involved to talk about compensation for the damage.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
South Surrey, White Rock MLAs call Tuesday’s provincial budget ‘disappointing’

MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Trevor Halford say residents are getting less for more

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

(File photo)
Three young girls followed while walking home from school, Surrey police say

RCMP say suspect took off after girls went into nearby store for help

Black smoke rises above Highway 17 in Surrey on Thursday. (Fraser Valley Road Report Facebook)
Fire sends thick black smoke above Surrey industrial area

Firefighters say blaze burning just off of Tannery Road and Highway 17 in Surrey

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read