Some time ago I lived in Vancouver for a period of a couple years. I was working – a lot – and rarely took time off. On one of those days though, I found myself exploring the northern reaches of Burnaby. It’s a interesting place full of contrasts.
The area has a number of huge oil refineries, massive gritty industrial plants, along with buffer zones of green between them, wooded parks and conservation areas with great views of forested hills and mountains to the north.
I was having fun hiking up and down slopes of Stratford Park, one of those green spaces mentioned. It’s a large tract of land, all forested and wild, leading down to the waterfront on Burrard Inlet.
Wandering about the reaches of the park, I spot the barge…and it looked like it was flipped over…yup, it was sitting bottom side up. It was being attended to by a number of service craft with large cranes, and many workers were seen doing inspections and what I assume, repairs.
What caused it to flip over and what cargo, if any, was lost and dumped into the waters? Did the event happen here, or did it occur somewhere else and the craft later towed here to be worked on? Unfortunately, there is no way to know the answers to any of these questions – that information is lost to the mists of time. But it’d be sure interesting to hear what happened.
The area I was in, while very rural looking, is actually within a kilometre or less of a huge population centre. This park and the wooded mountains on the opposite side of the inlet give the impression one is deep in the wilds of the BC coast, not close to a major city. It’s a great illusion.
A barge like this is a simple thing. It’s flat bottomed with a couple small rudders and flat on top (typically), allowing it to carry bulking cargo. They are pulled or pushed by a tug singly or in groups.
In one of the pictures you can see a couple tanks belonging to one those refineries I mentioned earlier.
These pictures were scanned from 35mm slides.
On another day off (a rare thing back then), I visited some industrial areas on the north side of Burrard Inlet and to see that report, click the link below…
North Vancouver waterfront trains 1989.
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Location: Burnaby, BC.