Protection Island man latest victim of active Nanaimo boat thieves

By Ian Holmes
August 7, 2018 - 6:19pm Updated: August 8, 2018 - 7:09am

Nanaimo and Protection Island are suddenly much further apart for Alan Bishop. His 14-foot boat and motor were stolen recently from the Boat Basin marina in Nanaimo. Alan Bishop

This boat was stolen over the weekend from the Boat Basin marina. RCMP report thefts of boats and accessories like motors are all too common this time of year.Alan Bishop

NANAIMO — A camping trip had a horrible ending for a Protection Island couple who relies heavily on their boat.

Alan Bishop, 57, said his 14-foot open aluminum boat outfitted with a 20-horsepower Suzuki motor was gone when he and was wife returned to the Boat Basin marina Sunday after a camping trip. Bishop, a Protection Island resident since 1982, said it appears his boat was stolen overnight on Saturday, Aug. 4.

He said life is suddenly much less convenient without a boat.

“My work schedule doesn't always necessarily coincide with the ferry schedules, so you're always running early and having to wait for the ferry to go home.”

Bishop, who filed a police report and is partially insured, said a padlock securing his boat to the dock was cut. He estimated his vessel and motor are worth a combined $7,000 to $8,000.

“You never win with insurance, even if you do have coverage you end up paying for years to come with higher's never a good situation.”

Bishop said people on Protection have been generous, including offering the use of a motor to attach to a boat which he hopes to track down for temporary use.

Bishop is aware of at least one other recent boat theft at the Boat Basin near where the Dinghy Dock ferry is stationed.

While Nanaimo RCMP didn't immediately have boat theft statistics available, Cst. Gary O'Brien said property crimes on the water surge during the summer. He said many thefts of boats and the valuables on them happen at night, including by thieves who use small boats to pick off unsecured accessories like motors from the water.

Nanaimo's Tony Puhalski, who was the victim of numerous boat related thefts, staged an extended protest outside the Nanaimo courthouse in March and April. Puhalski sold his boat after growing tired of continued thefts and rising insurance rates.


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