The call came in Monday afternoon after a resident spotted some type of structure passing under the Golden Ears Bridge.
It turned out, explained Coquitlam Search and Rescue manager Ray Nordstrand, a “floaty house” was making its way downstream.
SAR teams from Coquitlam and Ridge Meadows hit the water to see if anyone was inside the lopsided houseboat.
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“We were requested to go and verify that there wasn’t anyone in distress on board said vessel – I don’t even know if it’s considered a vessel,” he said. “It wasn’t clear to us what it was until we found it.”
The house had travelled about eight kilometres since the call came in before eventually getting hung up at the northeast end of Douglas Island where the Pitt River meets the Fraser.
Nordstrand described the craft as: “Somewhat of a house with nothing in it and nobody in it,” he said. “It looked kind of spooky.”
Rescue teams were unable to spot any signs of life or much of anything else.
“We were hoping that there were going to be some identifiers on it, a street address or something, the VIM number,” Nordstrand said.
There was nothing that could identify an owner, he added.
After peering inside, the teams left the house where it was while being careful not to make contact.
“My understanding is that if you touch it, it’s yours,” Nordstrand said. “We did not get on the vessel. We did not go into the vessel.”
The Coast Guard subsequently warned mariners of a “potential floating hazard,” explained Canadian Coast Guard communications advisor Michelle Imbeau.
At press time, the houseboat was still in the vicinity of Douglas Island.
The Coast Guard is set to work with Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to assess “further actions for the houseboat,” Imbeau stated.
Under certain circumstances, the Canadian government can hold owners of wrecked or hazardous vessels liable for the costs of dealing repairing or disposing of errant watercrafts.