It is a sight that has created sore eyes for almost a decade – derelict vessels left to rot in the LaHave river in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

Bridgewater Mayor David Walker says the town council has no jurisdiction when it comes to moving the vessels. The Port of Bridgewater is in charge of the wharf and only the federal government can step in.

“I would like to see more accountability,” says Walker.

He’s not the only one. Resident Jennifer Delong recently posted photos of sheen she noticed on the water to Facebook.

“Because of the boats, I’ve noticed a lot of oil. Depending on the tides it either runs into the town or away from the town,” says DeLong. “I looked out over the river and I could see it from the road, and I was just so blown away that this is okay, I just had to take pictures.”

The vessels were once a point of pride. The Cape Rouge was a fishing vessel before it was used in a television show and HMCS Cormorant served on many high priority missions for the Royal Canadian Navy.

Their derelict state has all but sunk that proud past. Both vessels went to the bottom of the river and had to be brought back up; they were then cleaned out courtesy of the coast guard.

"They're not completely oil free, we've cleaned all the bulk product out of them," says response officer, Keith Laidlaw.

The coast guard says because of that clean out, the ships are not seen as a pollution threat.

Their future is now before the courts.

"There's a detention order against the Cape Rouge and its sister ship at the Port of Bridgewater that Transport Canada issued. There's an arrest order issued by the Port of Bridgwater for the Cormorant," says Bridgewater mayor David Walker.

Mayor Walker has since written a letter asking for federal help for his town's very local problem.


With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelly Linehan