'Total chaos': Storm sinks vessel, damages Vancouver Island marina

A damaged boat that was docked at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay is pictured following this weekend's storm: Jan. 13, 2020 (CTV News)

A private marina in Nanoose Bay was hard hit in this weekend's storm, which took out a breakwater, sunk one vessel and damaged a handful of others.

Frank and Judy Button were back at the Beachcomber Marina Monday morning, surveying the damage to their vessel 'Over Early'. The couple was notified about problems at the marina on Sunday.

"They phoned us yesterday afternoon," said Frank Button. "I went aboard last night and did as much as I could but there wasn't much I could do."

He's waiting for a tow company to pull the vessel out of the concrete float where it's bow is currently embedded so it can be taken on shore for repairs.

"It's plastic, wood and metal, it can be fixed," Button said. The boat owner says that his vessel fared much better than one that now sits in the water next to theirs, half-submerged.

The 'Sunshine Too' pleasure vessel is still attached to the slip where it was moored but full of water after being pummeled by a strong storm.

"I would say it's the worst one I've seen since I've been in this area [for five years] for this particular marina," said Guy Gauvin, who also keeps his boat in the marina.

He says it reminds him of when nearby Schooner Cove was destroyed by a southeast wind about 20 years ago. But, he says this weekend's blast was out of the northwest.

He believes the wind strength was around 80 km/h and says that while the marina can normally be a little bouncy, yesterday was, "total chaos."

Gauvin says at least 50 feet of the marina's rock breakwater is now missing as a result of the Sunday storm and will need to be quickly repaired. "Yeah, it's all underwater now," Gauvin says, referring to the missing rocks.

A handful of other vessels also sustained varying degrees of damage, along with a larger boat which broke free and found its way across the marina coming, ashore in front of a nearby residence. 

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