A small-claims tribunal has ruled in favour of a boat owner whose moorage contract was terminated by a Shuswap marina for his alleged actions during a fire.
On Feb. 18, 2021 in a B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal, the tribunal member ruled that Captain’s Cove Marina, located near Canoe, had not proven that boat owner Philip Briddon had breached the parties’ contract.
According to court documents, Captain’s Cove alleged Briddon interfered with efforts of emergency personnel and marina staff who were responding to an explosion and fire at the marina on July 27, 2020. Captain’s Cove claimed Briddon ignored the presence of ambulances, fire trucks, flames and a ‘closed’ sign on its gate. The detail provided by Captain’s Cove about the interference was that Briddon repeatedly asked when he could retrieve his boat.
Briddon had moored his boat at Captain’s Cove for approximately 15 years before 2020.
Briddon denied the allegations, saying he did not approach anyone during the fire and, when asked to leave, he did so, staying no more than three to four minutes.
One of the terms he allegedly breached was complying with all rules established and not engaging in ‘immoral or illegal activities at the marina.’
Other terms were that the moorage agreement could be cancelled within 10 days at the discretion of management, and all amounts paid were non-refundable after they had been received by the marina.
Briddon said he paid for one year of moorage, but was told to remove his boat after four months, just two days after the fire. While he wanted a full refund of the moorage fees he paid, approximately $3,200, Captain’s Cove counter-claimed that he owed outstanding moorage fees of about $2,600, a summer storage fee, an emergency interruption fee and a summer service fee for a total of approximately $3,500.
The tribunal ordered Captain’s Cove to pay Briddon the eight months of lost moorage services, totalling about $2,200, plus $175 in tribunal fees.