VANCOUVER — A barge that had been the subject of jokes and the star of many photos after becoming stuck on a popular Vancouver beach during a severe storm in November is on its way out. 

The City of Vancouver says a process is underway to remove the grounded barge from English Bay by taking it apart in pieces. 

It says in a statement that engineers determined the barge can’t be refloated and a local firm, Vancouver Pile Driving Ltd., has been contracted for the deconstruction and removal.  

The statement says the process is expected to take 12 to 15 weeks and will be complex, involving site security, tides and measures to protect the sensitive marine environment around the barge. 

Environmental, archeological and structural assessments are underway, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada has advised the company to avoid affecting fish. 

After the storm, Vancouver’s parks board installed a sign naming the location Barge Chilling Beach, in a tongue-in-cheek nod to the city’s Dude Chilling Park that was originally named as a prank. 

The city statement says Vancouver Pile Driving will lead the project with support from government agencies. including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Parks Board. 

Ahead of deconstruction work, the area around the barge is being converted into a work site with fencing, detours and signs. 

“Ever since it became stranded at Sunset Beach in last November’s wind storm, removing the now-famous English Bay barge via the water was planned,” the city says in the statement. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2022.

The Canadian Press