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Finally afloat: Sunken barge in Port McNeill resurfaces

That capsized barge on the North Island is no longer.

The 80-foot, two-story accommodation barge named the Alaska Plaza has finally been pulled out of the depths of the Port McNeill marina.

Photo: Colmor Marine & Salvage

“Tens of thousands of pounds of steel torched away, five huge marine winches, three barges, three tug boats and dozens of marine professionals,” Colmer Marine & Salvage says.

The Comox Valley-based company was called in to do the job, in collaboration with Sea Roamer Marine Services and TCB Marine Consulting.

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Colmer Marine took to social media last Tuesday (Mar. 30th) to share the news, and said the wreck “fought us to the bitter end when she arrived at the bulkhead at 1:00 am this morning. Proud of our team and relationships.”

The Alaska Plaza initially sank late at night on Christmas Eve, and interim harbour manager Rebecca Adams told Vista Radio an “adverse wind event” was to blame.

Back on January 8th, it was actually raised to the surface. However, Adams said it lost stability and capsized again. This resulted in damage to the containment boom, allowing diesel to escape.

Now three months later, after what Colmer Marine called a “marathon and massive salvage operation,” the Alaska Plaza has resurfaced for good.

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The barge is owned by Orgeon’s Croman Corporation, and reports say the company is taking full responsibility for the cleanup. They also say minimal environmental impact is expected.

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