Four fishers wreak havoc, get banned from Ukee during stop

A group of fishers are in hot water after allegedly running amok in Ucluelet last week.

“When the fishing season starts we do see an increase in traffic but in five years I’ve never seen a group like this,” said Const. James Van Camp of the Ucluelet RCMP.

A large fishing vessel carrying 25 crewmembers stopped in Ucluelet for maintenance last week and while the vessel was docked its crew ventured into town.

Van Camp said a “coregroup” of about four crewmembers were involved in several fights, stole over $100 worth of liquor from Ucluelet’s Beer and Wine Store, and ran through the Ucluelet Campground firing pellet guns at campers.

“They made quite an impact, they caused lots of call-outs in the middle of the night,” Van Camp said. “Running through a campground shooting pellet guns at 4 in the morning is not something that we’re going to lay down on.”

He said RCMP spoke with the vessel’s captain who fully cooperated with police.

“Instead of chasing these guys around all weekend we went straight to the owner of the ship and the company and they were extremely helpful,” Van Camp said.

He said the ship’s captain responded by putting the entire crew on lockdown and did not allow any crewmembers off the vessel for the remainder of their stay in Ucluelet.

Police set up shop nearby the vessel to ensure the captain’s orders were adhered to.

“The most important thing was keeping them out of Ucluelet and on the boat until the boat left the harbour,” Van Camp said. “We parked a couple of cars there and made sure these guys didn’t sneak off and cause any more problems.”

The company is cooperating with police and conducting an internal investigation to discover the identities of the bad apples, according to Van Camp.

“This is a large company and they don’t want that kind of image,” he said. “They were as eager as we were to fix the problem and they were quite embarrassed by the activity of these guys…They’re going to help us identify who these guys are.”

He said the ship, and its crew, has left Ucluelet en route to Vancouver but warrants will be sought and he is confident charges will be laid in connection to the havoc because of surveillance footage taken at the beer and wine store.

He added that the suspects’ actions put their employment at risk.

“At least four of them are being released from the company once it docks back in Vancouver,” he said.

reporter@westerlynews.ca