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VIDEO: Historic boat the Mandalay B raised once more from Shuswap Lake, facing disposal

Century old vessel first sank in January 2022, recently removed through collaborative effort
Through a collaborative government effort, the Mandalay B was raised from McKay Bay in Lee Creek, in the North Shuswap, on May 10, 2023. The boat initially sank in January 2022. (CSRD image)

The Mandalay B recently resurfaced from Shuswap Lake once more and for the last time.

On May 10, local marine diving and recovery companies recovered the vintage vessel from McKay Bay in the North Shuswap. The work was done under federal provisions of the Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act through a collaboration involving the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), Transport Canada and other government agencies.

Photographed often when it was moored in the bay, the iconic 50-foot diesel-powered wooden vessel was constructed in 1923 by the Hoffar Motor Boat Company. In January 2022, the boat sustained damage in a cold snap and sank, according to former owner Paul White.

In June 2022, a private recovery effort managed to raise the Mandalay B but, according to the CSRD, it sank again roughly four months later.

“Relevant agencies including the CSRD, BC RAPP (Report all Poachers and Polluters) line, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada were made aware of the Mandalay B’s subsequent sinking,” said the CSRD in a June 1 media release.

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The CSRD’s bylaw enforcement personnel began working with Transport Canada’s Navigation Protection Program to coordinate a collaborative clean-up effort to remove and dispose of the boat.

“After months spent under the water, the antique vessel will not be restored to make a return to the lake,” said the CSRD, adding its Environmental Health Department waived the tipping fees for the boat’s disposal.

White was required to sign ownership of the vessel over to Transport Canada to have it removed and disposed of.

White bought the Mandalay B in 1993 and said he spent close to 10 years restoring it.

“I’ve owned that boat for 30 years and I’ve put a completely unreasonable amount of money into (it), which is the nature of being a boat owner,” White told the Observer. “My desire for that boat exceeded my common sense.”

White said he was proud of the Mandalay B, its history and craftsmanship, and he appreciated hearing from others who admired it.

Through a collaborative government effort, the Mandalay B was raised from McKay Bay in the North Shuswap on May 10, 2023. The boat, which initially sank in January 2022, will be disposed of. (CSRD image)