Re: Derelict boats a regional issue (Our View, June 7)
Derelict boats are not only a regional issue, they are also a media issue.
I have lived near Banfield Park for the past 12 years. Back then, there were no boats moored in the Selkirk waterway. That all changed when one homeless man built his own “Canadian sampan” as it was dubbed, out of tubing and parachute silk, and took up residence there.
Since then, every single time the media mentions that boats are moored there, and no one is kicking them out, it’s like free advertising. The number of boats increases regularly.
In future, I’d appreciate it if you could also mention that the neighbourhood is not warm and friendly. I’ve heard drunken bickering and threats to “come over there and kill you,” and seen interesting transactions taking place.
Of course, there is the human feces problem, too, though that could also be attributed to homeless people camping in the nearby bushes.
Forgotten is the drowning death of a man who was living aboard his unseaworthy vessel. In the winter, I believe it was three years ago the boat went down. Because there is no public dock nearby, it took awhile for the police boat to respond. They saved one person, but one man died.
It may be free, but not so safe, not so friendly. And of course, no public bathrooms nearby.