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.

Just Posted

CRIMESTOPPERS: Williams Lake RCMP seek public’s assistance

Williams Lake RCMP released three names of people they are looking for

CRD board on the road travels to Tatla Lake

Broadband, plastics, cycling, grants for assistance and economic development were on the agenda

KEN’S KITCHEN: Federal election issues heating up

Fall is just about here and that means, this year, it is Federal election time.

UPDATE: Missing mushroom picker located in Anahim Lake area

The mushroom picker was from Ulkatcho First Nation

DOWN TO EARTH: Earth friendly choices challenging, but rewarding

Amber Gregg Special to the Tribune/Advisor Recently I made the decision to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Most Read