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September 27th 2020 - 03:54
July 6th, 2007
July 6th, 2007

Robertson II Salvage - Public Letter

The following letter was received this am from Ryan Czyz with the request that it be made public. I have included the letter as it was received. I donīt really know anything about this group and although they are listed as a Society they do not appear to be a federally registered society and as such can not issue a tax receipt. A formal press release was also received and has been included in a separate post...

an icon of canadian meratime history

This letter is an attempt to raise awareness and gather funding for the salvage of one of Canadaīs most historically significant vessels. The Robertson II has run aground this last Sunday morning.  Attempts have been made to refloat her but lack of equipment and proper resources for proper salvage efforts are currently deterring us from our ultimate goal.

The Robertson II was built in Nova Scotia in 1939. She is the last surviving schooner of its type, built very similar in design to the Bluenose (the boat on the back of the dime).  She was built during the Second World War as a Salt Banker on the grand banks of Newfoundland and worked as such until 1975. After she retired as a fishing vessel she was purchased by a group of individuals in Victoria, BC where the schooner served for 20 years as a training vessel for many thousands of children in the Sail and Life Training Society, or SALTS. īThe Robbieī, as she is affectionately known to all, has, throughout her life and role in helping children with life lessons and maritime knowledge, has positively affected literally thousands of people over the years and has accrued a group of dedicated individuals who, through the society, have worked tirelessly to maintain such a monument to Canadaīs maritime history and as a result hope to preserve her for future generations to understand, appreciate and enjoy.

The Robertson II was purchased from SALTS in 2003 and restoration efforts have been progressive. Extensive repairs have been made to keep her heritage alive with well over one million dollars spent towards restoration costs.

The historical value exceeds the monetary value of the ship, which gives us the motivation and incentive to repair the last of her kind and carry on the traditions, including education in sailing, shipwright, restoration and conservation techniques. Countless lives have been enhanced and changed forever with lasting memories. Mother Nature is calling for youth to be involved in what she has to offer, which have and can only happen through programs such as these.

The Robertson II belongs to the Merchant Marine Sail and Steam Society. This society was established to promote both knowledge and interest in the marine environment, using historic vessels, and encompasses sail training, tours for the disabled and education, both of her history and of Canadaīs maritime heritage.

Having her salvaged and upright again is just one of the many aspects of the overall operations that will have to take place to save this extremely important vessel.  She will need to be almost completely refitted to which we would be most grateful for any donations for the continuation and preservation of the Robbie.  The last thing that we want to see happen is for this magnificent vessel to be a tourist attraction for divers at the bottom of the ocean, which is rapidly becoming a sad possibility.  She can float and be just as beautiful once again but we cannot do it by ourselves.  We now need public help to save her life and continue the legacy and tradition she is so famous for. If she becomes consigned to the waves, another historic aspect of our Maritime legacy will be lost, forever...

We could use all immediate assistance to get her afloat.  After she is afloat we will need all financial help possible to be able to resurrect her to her full potential.  

Any offers of help, please call Ryan Czyz at (250)216-8077  Ryan@dominionfish.com

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