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MV Okanagan gets hung up

An unmanned tugboat is causing problems on the northern edge of Okanagan Lake.

Residents say the MV Okanagan had already broken free of its mooring before it wound up stuck in the mud, out front of several homes.

The boat is believed to have ran aground following Wednesday night’s thunderstorm and currently sits on the west side of the lake, in the northern arm of Okanagan Lake.

“We had seen it floating back and forth across the lake from us on Wednesday and around 11 (pm) we were standing on the dock, looking into the darkness,” explained LeeAnn Louis.

“And then we all went to bed until our neighbour came by and asked if we knew where the boat was. He’s like ‘It’s right there’. I can literally throw a rock onto it from where I’m standing.”

She says to the best of her knowledge the tugboat hasn’t damaged anything yet, but she is concerned since there are docks and expensive powerboats nearby.

Guy Gadbois, one of the boats' owners, confirms the tug slipped its mooring during Wednesday’s thunderstorm.

“We had steel pilings in place that the boat was anchored to, and there was a huge cable that was hooked to the nose of the boat,” he says.

“The waves were so big, they pulled the cables off of the pilings. There was such a stretch put on the cable loops that they actually went over the restraining shackles at the end.”

Gadbois says that should not happen again as he has put two-foot wide restraining caps on the pilings and is now ready to reattach the tugboat to the anchor system.

The only issue now is how they will go ahead and pull the tug out from the mud.

They hope to have the vessel freed up by the end of the day, and back at its mooring around the point from Adventure Bay.

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