Pacific Grizzly owner Leonard Ellis believes the sinking of his vessel August 4, 2015 as it was moored in the Bella Coola Harbour was suspicious. Photo courtesy of BC Crime Stoppers

Owner of Pacific Grizzly offers cash reward to solve suspicious sinking

Bella Coola owner puts up $25,000 reward for information

Out more than $200,000 in expenses, a Bella Coola man is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for sinking his boat, the Pacific Grizzly, in 2015.

Leonard Ellis believes the sinking of his vessel on Aug. 4 as it was moored in the Bella Coola Harbour was suspicious, he stated in an e-mail to Black Press Media.

“Physical evidence viewed by witnesses upon salvage proves beyond any doubt the vessel’s watertight components were indeed compromised and physically sabotaged.”

The vessel’s sinking resulted in an estimated 1,000 litres of diesel spilling into the water. It also ruined the Pacific Grizzly.

“The vessel had to be torn apart by an excavator onsite in the harbour, loaded on a barge and hauled to the landfill.”

Ellis said more than $50,000 was spent on Pacific Grizzly at the shipyard in 2010 to ensure all caulking was in good shape below waterline and that the vessel did not leak at all below waterline.

Read More: Cash stolen from elderly person’s purse in Williams Lake; RCMP seeking information

“Superficial paint on top decks suffered cosmetically from freezing winters but all machinery, bilge pumps, batteries and high water alarms were certainly in good working order,” said Ellis. “The hull structure with regard to floating capabilities was sound and copper paint and zincs were in very good condition.”

Transport Canada documentation states the Pacific Grizzly was built in 1936. It was a 20.51-metre fishing boat constructed of wood built by Boeing Aircraft in Vancouver.

According the John MacFarlane’s book, The Nauticapoedia List of British Columbia’s Floating Heritage, vol 1, in her early years the Pacific Grizzly was owned by British Columbia Packers Ltd. and was a seine boat. In 1942 during the Second World War she was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy Fishermen’s Reserve as the H.M.C.S. Van Isle to patrol the coastline. In 1944 she went back to her owners, the British Columbia Packers Ltd and Ellis purchased the vessel in 2001.

Ellis said he had invested over $150,000 into the boat for upgrades and maintenance and it cost him over $50,000 for cleanup in the harbour. He also lost the August, September prime guiding season in 2015 for Bella Coola Grizzly Tours.

The vessel was not insured. A reward of $25,000 is being offered by Ellis for information provided to RCMP leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect/suspects responsible for the sabotage of the MV Pacific Grizzly in Bella Coola harbour.

If anyone has information regarding the loss, they are encouraged to contact the Bella Coola RCMP at (250) 799-5363 or anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

With files from Caitlin Thompson, Black Media Press.

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Independent watchdog investigating Williams Lake RCMP

The IIO was called in by the RCMP after a man was pursued by police and injured in a motorbike crash

WildSafeBC hires new co-ordinator for Cariboo region

Mareike Moore said the main message is keeping wildlife wild, communities safe

City playgrounds to reopen today, June 1, at noon

Users are reminded to play by the rules and continue to follow physical distancing and hygiene

Mining Month: A celebration of dedication and resiliency

May is Mining Month, as proclaimed by the Province of B.C.

Growing Smiles flower fundraiser raises money for Tatla Lake School

Community members helped the PAC raise just under $3,000

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read