Derelict boat sinks after it catches fire, explodes near Selkirk Trestle

A derelict boat near the Selkirk Trestle on Victoria's Gorge Waterway caught fire, exploded, and sank early Thursday morning. Crews responded to the call at about 1:20 a.m.   

It's believed no one was on board, and the cause is under investigation.  A containment boom encircles the site where the boat sank.

The City of Victoria has been working to evict derelict vessels from the waterway and has a court injunction stating boats and unauthorized docks were to be gone on May 7th -- three-and-a-half weeks ago.

City Clerk Chris Coates says in 2016 there were 33 vessels -- but six boats and two docks still remain:

" With the 6 that are remaining there's still ongoing conversations with them. We understand that 1 of those vessels which just returned I think today, is doing so to pick up some other belongings that are nearby and intends to be vacating the area reasonably quickly."

Coates says 3 vessels are occupied, and the city is trying to get those people working with Pacifica Housing. But he says if compliance is not achieved the city will be back in court looking for the authority to remove the vessels themselves.

Coates says the city doesn't track where the vessels go once they leave the Gorge.

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