Fintry Queen damage estimated at $20,000

Vandals ransack the inside of the once-popular floating restaurant and tourist ship.

The vandalism done to the inside of the Fintry Queen has been estimated at $20,000.

According to the RCMP, the damage, believed to have been caused some time between Dec. 9 and Dec. 15 after one or more people gained access to the idle former tourist ship and floating restaurant through a sliding glass door, included spray painted walls, damaged mirrors, broken furniture and other fixtures, stolen liquor and other items as well as garbage and broken bottle left strewn around the inside of the ship.

It appeared there may have been squatters living inside the ship for a few days.

The damage was discovered by Andy Schwab, a former Fintry Queen operator who is assisting in an attempted court-ordered sale of the vessel, on Thursday.

Const. Steve Holmes said the RCMP is investigating and its forensic identification team had examined the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The once-popular ship has been tied up at a city-owned dock at the foot of Bernard Avenue for the last two years. Bu the city wants it moved so it can builda new downtown lakeshore marina.

In addition to $79,000 owned to the city for moorage fees from 2009, a $1.5 million mortgage would have to be paid off by anyone who buys it, as well as $39,000 in back wages for former staff owed to the province and $110,000 to the Cove Marina in West Kelowna, which had its dock damaged by the Fintry Queen when it was still sailing.

The ship, a former car ferry that was refitted with a fake rear paddlewheel and turned into a floating restaurant and tourist sightseeing ship, used to ply the waters of Okanagan Lake but now appears destined to an ignominious end.

The city has ordered it to be relocated to Sutherland Bay by March if no buyer is found.

After that, Schwab feels it could be sold for scrap despite the fact it had hundreds of thousand of dollars of mechanical and electrical refurbishments done to it shortly before it stopped sailing.



Kelowna Capital News