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Contractor speaks out about Northern King video

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C- One of several people named in a leaked surveillance video from Campbell River is speaking out about what happened to the Northern King.

The Northern King was a fishing boat which appeared in a video has surfaced that online this November.

The video shows what appears to be the Northern King getting filled with dirt or gravel at the side of a dock.

The video was taken just after 7 p.m. on February 1st, 2017.

The video ends with the vessel being taken away from the dock by another boat. Several people are named in the video.

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The newsroom spoke to one man named in the video, Campbell River contractor Wayne Atkinson.

Atkinson confirmed that he had been at the dock on the night of February 1st, and indicated he had been contracted to help with the stripping of the vessel in the days leading up to that night.

He stated he had been contacted by Nathan Chickite, a resident of the area who previously attracted attention after apologizing for the shooting of a deer within city limits.

Chickite had asked if he was available to help with the dismantling of a boat, after other contractors were unavailable.

Atkinson took the job, and helped take down the Northern King’s mast and remove its motor, among other tasks. He then operated an earthmoving machine on February 1st, telling the newsroom he had been at the controls.

“I asked them, I asked Nathan Chickite, what the gravel (was for),” said Atkinson.

“Because it’s just kind of odd, right? He said it was just for ballast, because it was two feet out of the water. We had taken the motor out, the hydraulics, the fuel, the mast, the beaver tail, the B-12 engine that was there. Didn’t say anything more than that. Did my job, and as soon as I was done loading up, they took off and I went home.”

He later heard the vessel had been sunk, and was angry he had been “dragged into” what had happened. He hasn’t spoken with any of the other people involved in the work since.

He also indicated he had spoken with federal environmental authourities about what had taken place, stating that the possible sinking of the vessel “didn’t sit well” with him.

“I don’t appreciate them putting me in that situation,” said Atkinson.

“I didn’t need that, whatsoever.”

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), previously confirmed an investigation into the Northern King is underway.

“Departmental enforcement officers are currently investigating this matter regarding potential violations to the Act (Environmental Protection Act)”, read a statement from the ministry.

“As the investigation is ongoing, ECCC cannot provide further information at this time.”

ECCC has told the newsroom that the current location and status of the Northern King is known, but have not yet confirmed whether or not the vessel was sank.

The newsroom also reached out to Tony Roberts, a band council member with Wei Wai Kum First Nation who was named in the video.

He declined to comment in detail, citing the ongoing investigation, but did confirm he had once owned the Northern King.

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