Abandon ship!

The model pirate ship in Kootenay Lake has seen better days - Sam Van Schie photo
The model pirate ship in Kootenay Lake has seen better days
— image credit: Sam Van Schie photo

Shiver me timbers! The pirate ship moored in Kootenay Lake, a stone's throw from the Chahko Mika Mall parking lot, appears to have suffered some damage over the weekend.

While the vessel is still afloat, its hull is partially submerged and it's leaning to one side. The damage occurred Saturday evening.

By Sunday morning a photo of the sinking ship began circulating on Facebook, leading to much speculation on what may have occurred — rough day at sea? Attacks by enemy ships? A sea monster on the loose?

The ship's owner Gary Ramsbottom offered a less fanciful explanation — likely a frozen pipe or a breach in the hull, he suggested.

"I won't know for sure until I get her out of the water and take a look," he said.

Ramsbottom, a local filmmaker, built the 22-foot replica pirate ship that has been moored in Kootenay Lake since the summer of 2010.

Since word of its damage spread through social media, he said he's received numerous phone calls and Facebook messages from concerned community members.

He and a half dozen others plan to go out on the lake midday Tuesday to rescue the ship. They'll bring it to the marina by the Nelson Prestige, where it can be lifted out of the water for repairs.

"I'm just amazed by the support I've received," he said. "People love the boat more than I realized."


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