Vancouver Pile Driving Ltd (VanPile) has been contracted to complete the removal of the SMT-5000 barge from English Bay beach.




November 22, 2022

As we finish up the final stages of the barge deconstruction, Hatfield remains highly committed to the project. We’re working together to ensure that the beaches returned to its original condition for both human visitors and marine wildlife. We chatted with Francine Beaujot, Marine Biologist from Hatfield to get an update on next steps. Here’s what she shared:

We’re nearing the final stages of barge deconstruction! Recently, the final flooded underwater chambers of the barge were removed. Before that happened, Hatfield inspected the chambers to make sure that there were no marine invertebrates or fish trapped inside and to prevent the stranding of marine life. Earlier in the project, drains were cut on the seaward edge of the of the barge chambers to make sure that the tidal water could freely drain out of them.

A few days ago, the temporary steel piles that were supporting the barge in place were removed. During that time, Hatfield had environmental monitors on site monitoring the underwater sound levels. They used a hydrophone, a microphone that can be placed underwater. The environmental monitors were able to review the sound levels in real time and work with the team to make sure that the levels remained within the regulated thresholds. Similarly to the underwater chambers, when the steel piles were removed they were inspected for marine life before they were recycled.

Throughout the project, VanPile and Hatfield had been surveying the beach to collect any remnant steel debris that might have fallen. Now that the barge is completely out of the water, there’s a combination of three different methods being used to ensure no traces are left behind. We’re using a metal detector, a series of magnets and we’ll be continuing with visual surveys.

Since we expect that there might be some natural sand movement in the next coming weeks now that the barge is out of place. We’ll continue with the visual surveys. During this time, we’ll keep the fencing around the project site in place. Once all equipment has been demobilized and any remnants of debris have been removed, Hatfield will do a post works habitat assessment. This is to to compare the findings to our pre works habitat assessment in order to check that the environmental conditions are similar. As this project nears completion, we’re all looking forward to turning this iconic beach habitat back over to the City of Vancouver and its residents.


November 15, 2021 –  An atmospheric river drenches the southern part of BC, leading to widespread flooding, high winds and high tides. SMT-5000, the barge drifted loose from its anchor and drifted to shore where it became stuck.

June 30, 2022 – Safety barriers installed to prepare for deconstruction

July 25, 2022 – Deconstruction begins 

In consultation with: