Original Published on Oct 26, 2022 at 05:19

Drum Head boiler given reprieve: Transport Canada reviews risk assessment

By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

GUYSBOROUGH – Last week this newspaper reported that a local landmark, a 100-year-old boiler from the shipwreck Scotia, was slated for removal from the waters off Drum Head. Notice of the plan for removal was given in The Journal on Oct. 12, much to the surprise of area residents who had fought to keep the boiler in the winter of 2021 and were told, at that time, that it would not be removed.

Upon news of the notice for removal, residents once again made their position clear: they did not want the boiler removed.

On Oct. 20, The Journal received the following information via email from a Transport Canada spokesperson, “The ship boiler located near Drum Head, Nova Scotia is considered part of a wrecked vessel and was identified as a potential risk to navigation…Following public feedback to the notice, Transport Canada will undertake a review of the risk to navigation, and as a result, will not proceed with the removal of the boiler at the moment.”

Rachel Gammon, an area resident who has worked to preserve the boiler, spoke to The Journal about the Transport Canada decision on that same afternoon. 

“I am happy for that, at the bare minimum that’s going to at least give me longer than 30 days [the advertised period before removal]. I feel like I am on repeat…This time I am going to follow through until the bitter end,” she said, referring to her plan to get the wreck recognized under the Special Places Protection Act, “so they can’t come after her again.”

Gammon added, “Where the Scotia is already logged on the Atlantic Shipwreck database online, I should have good footing to have it marked.”

Speaking to Transport Canada’s position that the boiler is a risk to navigation, Gammon said, “I know the waterway; I’m a fisherman…I know all the channels, all the marking buoys. It is in a cove, near an island where no one ever goes.”

The Journal asked Transport Canada by whom or how the Scotia was identified as a possible risk to navigation and received an email stating that the status is under review.

This item reprinted with permission from   Guysborough Journal   Guysborough, Nova Scotia

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