Wayne Elliott wanted to give Captain John’s a dignified death. In his 40-year career, the senior salvage master with Marine Recycling Corporation has steered more than 120 vessels to safe, environmentally friendly retirement. “I have an emotional time with all of them, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I love the ships. But I also love what we do. I’m proud of what we do. It’s not respecting the ship to let it sink in dock somewhere.” Were it not for him, Ivan “John” Letnik’s floating restaurant might have done just that. Until Thursday, when Elliott and his company finally removed it, the boat had spent almost 40 years in its slip at the foot of Yonge Street, though the ship hadn’t served any customers since 2012, when its water supply was cut off by the city amid a dispute over unpaid taxes and rent.
Here’s how Elliott and company pried the M.S. Jadran loose without accidentally sending it to the bottom of Lake Ontario.