VANCOUVER -- Police say two barges that broke free from their moorings are estimated to have caused more than $1 million in damage after slamming into boats and structures in Vancouver's inner harbour.

Sgt. Jason Robillard of Vancouver police says the barges are about the size of a soccer field and were loaded with containers.

They broke free from their moorings in North Vancouver at about 5 a.m. on Boxing Day.

The barges drifted across the Port of Vancouver's shipping lanes and rammed into two boats and three structures in the Coal Harbour Marina on the Vancouver waterfront.

In a news release, Robillard says a 911 call alerted the police department's marine unit to the loose barges just before 6:30 a.m.

Two local tugs, the marine unit vessel and two boats from the Port of Vancouver managed to get both barges under tow about 90 minutes later and returned them to their moorings in North Vancouver.