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The Florence Filberg Arson at Sooke BC
by Drew Clarke 2017
The blaze broke out in daylight. (Photo from the Chris Auld collection.)
These photos of the Florence Filberg were taken by Chris Auld in 2007, he was then living in Ucluelet BC. He gave them to me, and I can’t seem to find him now. He and his wife were taking some time off and sailed around to Sooke where they anchored. He said they saw two men in a small speedboat go out to her. Shortly thereafter the men left and immediately smoke and fire were seen up in the wheelhouse. In the full set of pictures you can see that an accelerant had been used as several separate areas were also ablaze much too soon to have spread naturally. I know they called the police and the men were arrested back at the dock but never did hear their fate.
By nightfall the vessel had been burning for some time. The blaze was spectacular, but in a sad and evil way. (Photo from the Chris Auld collection.)
In 1944 she was built as the U.S.A.T.S. LT–144 at Seattle WA USA by the Barbee Marine Yard. 117.3’ x 28’ x 13.5’ steel hull 270gt 11rt. She was powered by a 600hp diesel engine.
In 1944 she was owned by the U.S. Army Transportation Service. In 1946–1972 she was owned by Canadian Tugboat Co. Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1972–1974 she was owned by John Carolan Ltd., New Westminster BC. In 1975–1978 she was owned by Newman Log Booming Ltd., (Walmis Newman) Duncan BC. In 1979–1980 she was owned by Ridgeway W. Wilson Jr., Nanaimo BC. In 1982–1986 she was owned by L.T.Tug Ltd. Victoria BC. In 1987–1988 she was owned by H. Von Der Hofen, Peter Perry and Don Lewison, Seattle WA USA.
By morning there was little left except burned out debris and some scrap metal. I had been offered the Florence Filberg by Walmis Newman back in the mid 1970s. Walmis had been willing to trade her to me for a D–6 Cat at that time.(Photo from the Chris Auld collection. )
The Florence Filberg in better days. She was a fine ship, a classic Miki Miki tug and she served her owners well and faithfully. (Photo from the John Henderson collection.)
To quote from this article please cite:
Clarke, Drew (2017) The Florence Filberg Arson at Sooke BC. Nauticapedia.ca 2017. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/Filberg.php
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