Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
October 27, 2016 08:00

Next Situation Report
October 27, 2016 – 1800 hours

Seaforth Channel, approximately 11nm west of Bella Bella

The Tug Nathan E. Stewart and Barge DBL 55 ran hard aground on the rocks at 10/13/16 (01:13 PDT). The unit was located in Canadian Waters at 52.14.46N, 128.23.160W at the entrance to Seaforth Channel. The tug remains aground on Athlone Island, approximately 9.99 nm from Bella Bella by water. The tug is aground in shallow water and is partially submerged. The tug was loaded with 226,840 litres of diesel fuel. Kirby was able to confirm that 24,810 litres of diesel fuel were pumped from the tug into tank 3 port on the barge before the pumps failed due to water in the engine room. As of 24/10/16, 110 131 liters of an oil-water mixture has been pumped off of the vessel. At this time all tanks aboard the tug have been pumped off to a lightering vessel. Protective booming of the tug will remain in place throughout the salvage operation.

• Ensure the safety of citizens and response personnel
• Control the source
• Secure the vessel and refloat/remove from the marine environment
• Maximize protection of environmentally-sensitive areas, prioritizing of sample collection
• Contain and recover spilled material
• Remove oil from impacted areas
• Recover and rehabilitate injured wildlife
• Manage coordinated response effort
• Keep the public & stakeholders informed of response activities
• Clear and consistent communication to the community
• Minimize economic impacts from the spill to the community and the environment
• Minimize local business interruption

Unified Command
Jim Guidry (Responsible Party Incident Commander)
Jess Housty (Heiltsuk On Scene Commander)
Philip Murdock (Canadian Coast Guard Federal Incident Commander)
Pader Brach (BC Provincial On Scene Commander)


SAFETY (as of 0800 hours, 27/10/16)
• Safety protocols remain in place – as stated on previous situation reports.
• Footing issues have been reported at the Bella Bella fuel docks. Personnel are advised to be aware of footing and areas that could cause slips, trips and falls.
• 1 psychosocial personnel on board the Bartlett at 1051 (27Oct)

• The fisheries closure for bivalve shellfish fisheries in the Seaforth Channel and Gale Passage remains in place.
• For more information contact: Elysha Gordon 250-756-7192

• The ICP continues to operate out of the Heiltsuk Nation Tribal Council chambers.

• Staging is available at the Bella Bella fuel dock and at Shearwater.
• On-water staging of equipment has been on barges around the response site


(CURRENT SITUATION as of 27/10/16, 0800 hours)
• At of 26/10/16, 1800 hours the CCG Vessel Gordon Reid changed command for night ops, it was relieved by the Bartlett this morning and the Tully will be back for night ops/command. Gordon Reid will remain on scene and replace the Vector.
• Salvage Group are preparing the chain to float to the casualty to insert through the pin holes. As of 1135 on hold during abalone survey dive.
• 1121 An Aquatic environmental dive team conducting a survey dive to assess where abalone from around the casualty will be relocated prior to the casualty being repositioned.
• Ops will reposition boom at the casualty site.
• Shoreline ops teams continue to collect and dispose of soiled sorbent place aboard the Gulf Rival and then transferred to the IB1.
• The CCGS Bartlett provided on-scene coordination to all vessels in the field.
• The CCGS Gordon Reid continues to provide safety support to vessels in the field.
• The CCGS Bella Bella 1 continues to transfer personnel between Bella Bella and the casualty site. Crew change on 28th OCT
• The GM Penman will be down for routine service maintenance.
• Eagle Bay will remain as on water air quality monitoring
• Ingenika and Pender Breeze will utilize current buster as needed
• The Namgis, Strategic TJ and Burrard Cleaner #4 continue to maintain containment boom around the casualty.
Air Operations
• 0830 Beach crew delivery flights using the A-STAR helo.
• 09:44 Aircraft DASH 7 conducted a surveillance flight
• 1000 overflight with UC and Ops
• 1037 Dash 7 return to Port Hardy due to Low ceiling (150ft)
• 1200 overflight with Hereditary Chief
• 1415 overflight Minister of Environment.
• 1600 beach crew extraction flights will begin.
• 1730 accountability flight will occur.

(CURRENT SITUATION as of 27/10/16, 0800 hours)

• PRE-SCAT surveys along south shoreline of Seaforth Channel from Raymond Passage to Dundavin Bay.
• Segments: 1687 – 1701, 1702 – 1713, 2048 – 2053
• SCAT teams will have representation from Heiltsuk Nation, CCG, BC Ministry of Environment and Polaris.

• The wildlife field team responded to a report of sheen in Gale Creek passage near the newly installed 1400’ exclusion boom in Gale Creek Lagoon; on inspection the sheen was determined to be organic (a sample was taken), there was also a small crab collected, but it is reported as just the exoskeleton.
• 1019 Reported sea otter in Gale Lagoon pos. 52 13.2’N 128 22.9’W
• The wildlife field team will conduct wildlife monitoring along the south shore of Seaforth Channel east of the casualty, and Gale Creek.


• Sampling teams will gather tissue, sediment, vegetation and water samples in the following locations: Gale Proper (Lagoon), Dufferin Clam Beach, Gale Passage High Beach, Gale Passage Narrows, Raymond West, Matilda, Odin Cove.
• BC Ministry of Environment will continue to work with Heiltsuk Nation, supported by Environment Canada in the Environment Unit.
• Environment Canada will continue to support contingency planning for hot tapping and pumping operations with trajectory modeling in the event of a release.
• BC Ministry of Environment is participating with Heiltsuk and Kirby to develop the Sampling Plan and Monitoring Plan; which will be submitted to Unified Command for review.

• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 06:00 AM PDT 27/10/2016
seaforth-0600Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued by Environment Canada at 0600 hours on the 27TH of October:
A dissipating low will cross the central coast just to the south of the region. A weak trough of low pressure will approach Vancouver Island tonight.

Seaforth Channel Weather: On scene update at 0600 hours (27/10/16)
Winds: E x 7’
Sea: Rippled
Beaufort sea state: 1
Visibility: 5-6 NM
Air temp: 9.1°C
Sea temp: 10.9°C
Barometer: 999.9mbar and rising Slowly
Skies: Covered with continuous light rain to Moderate Rain

Marine Weather Statement

Issued 3:46 AM PDT 27 October 2016
A 994 MB low near Cape Scott will dissipate this morning as it departs northeastward. Gale force cyclonic winds will occur early this morning near the low. A trough of low pressure will move into the offshore waters tonight. Winds will rise to strong to gale force southeast off Vancouver Island tonight ahead of the trough.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 27 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Friday
Wind northeast 15 to 25 knots becoming southwest 15 to 25 early this morning then backing to southerly 10 to 20 this afternoon. Wind backing to southeast 15 to 25 near midnight except northeasterly outflow 30 near the mainland inlets. Wind becoming southeast 30 Friday morning except northeasterly outflow near the mainland inlets. Wind diminishing to south 20 Friday evening.


Issued at 04:00 AM PDT, 27 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Friday
Seas 1 to 2 metres building to 3 to 4 overnight.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT, 27 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Friday
A few showers.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 27 October 2016

Saturday – Wind northeast 15 knots.
Sunday – Wind variable 5 to 15 knots.
Monday – Wind southeast 10 to 15 knots.