Fintry Queen target of squatters and vandals
It appears to be an ignominious end to a once-popular Kelowna attraction.
The Fintry Queen, the car ferry turned tourist paddle-wheeler docked at the foot of Bernard Avenue, has become the target of squatters and vandals.
according to police, parts of the inside of the ship, which once plied the waters of Okanagan lake carrying tourists and locals as a floating restaurant, was found to be spray painted with grafitti, damaged and left strewn with food and garbage.
The ship, which is up for sale but has attracted little interest, has been ordered out of its downtown lakeshore dock by the city, which is owed $79,00 in unpaid moorage fees from 2009.
Anyone buying the ship would also have to settle up with the court-appointed owner, Calgary's Greg Chessor, who holds a $1.5 million mortgage on the Fintry Queen, as well as the Cove Marina Resort on the Westside, which is owed $110,000 for damage done to its marina and $39,000 to the province for back wages owed to former staff.
Earlier this year, when it became apparent there was not one willing to step up and buy the Fintry Queen, Kelowna city council ordered it to be relocated to Sutherland Bay by March in order to allow the city to proceed with its plan to build a new downtown marina.
The damage to the Fintry Queen, discovered by Andy Schwab, a former operator of the ship and the local man handling the attempt to sell it, appears to have been the work of squatters. It is unclear how long the squatters had been living inside the vessel, which has been tied up at the dock off Kerry Park for the last two years.
In addition to graffiti on inside walls, there was also broken glass and food thrown around inside.
The damage was discovered Thursday morning and the RCMP are investigating, said RCMP. Sgt. Ann Morrison.