Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
October 27, 2016 18:00

Next Situation Report
October 28, 2016 – 0600 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 1800 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.

• 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, 1800 hours)
On Scene Safety
• Bartlett will be relieved of command for the night by the Tully at 1800hrs. Gordon Reid prepare for morning operations.
• 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
Salvage Ops
• Salvage Group floating the chain to the casualty for insertion through the pin holes.
• DB General travel to ZB189 to offload empty frac tank.
• Approval for anchor setting given for next ops period
Spill Response Ops
• Ops repositioned boom at the casualty site.
• No waste bags from shoreline today.
• The GM Penman is back on scene at 1500hrs.
• 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.
• Boom was maintained in Gale Creek.
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)
• Due to weather conditions, a second flight by the NASP Dash 7 has been cancelled
• 1200 overflight with Hereditary Chief
• 1415 Overflight – cancelled
• 1600 beach crew extraction flights will begin.
• 1700 – Helo 212 inbound to Bella Bella from Prince Rupert
• 1730 accountability flight will occur (Minister of Emergency Preparedness and 2 Heiltsuk reps. on flight).

(CURRENT SITUATION as of 27/10/16, 1800 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 conducted wildlife monitoring in Gale Creek, along the south shore of Seaforth Channel east and west of the casualty. The monitoring operations west of the casualty were abbreviated due to a report of a seal carcass observed on the east side (N52° 14.224 W128° 21.282). The seal carcass was collected by Focus Wildlife, according to protocols, and handed off to Cardno under chain of command at the Bella Bella dock. Work was conducted from vessel Elizabeth Ann, operated by Rod Brown. A Heiltsuk member accompanied the wildlife field team. Seven sea otters were observed in today’s monitoring area. A pod of orcas was reported near Rithett Island. No visibly oil impacted wildlife was observed.
• 1019 Strategic TJ reported sea otter in Gale Lagoon pos. 52 13.2’N 128 22.9’W
• 1300 Sea Otter sighting, mouth Gale Creek by Clowhom Spirit 1
• 1340 Haisea Guardian Reports a small pod of orcas near regatta rocks North Coast Ranger to investigate orca sighting.
• 1420 SCAT team 2 reports a dead seal at pos. 52 14.224’N 128 21.282’W
• 1556 Wildlife team arriving into Bella Bella with seal carcass and info. Will conduct investigation into cause of death.
• The wildlife field team conducted wildlife monitoring along the south shore of Seaforth Channel east of the casualty, and Gale Creek.
Proposed Wildlife Monitoring For 28 October
• The wildlife field team expects to complete wildlife monitoring along the south shore of Seaforth Channel west of the casualty, and Ivory Island/Powell Anchorage.


• 1357 Abigail Dive update: 3 dives 1508 Diving operations completed: aquatic environmental team conducted a survey dive to assess where abalone from around the casualty will be relocated prior to the casualty being repositioned.
• 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: 18:00 PM PDT 27/10/2016
seaforth-6-pmSeaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 6:00 PM PDT 27 October 2016 – A weak trough of low pressure will approach Vancouver Island tonight. The trough swing northwards brushing the central coast Friday night in a much weaker state.

Seaforth Channel Weather: On scene update at 1700 hours (27/10/16)
Winds: Lt. ESE 5-10 kts
Sea: light ripple
Beaufort sea state: 2
Visibility: 10 NM restricted vis. on horizon.
Air temp: 10.3°C
Barometer: 1007.5 mbar, slowly rising
Skies: Low overcast clouds 8/8,
Precipitation: none at ship.

Marine Weather Statement

Issued 3:57 PM PDT 27 October 2016
A trough of low pressure will move into the offshore waters tonight. Winds will rise to strong to gale force southeast across parts of Explorer and off Vancouver Island tonight ahead of the trough.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 04:00 PM PDT 27 October 2016- Today Tonight and Friday

Wind southerly 10 to 20 knots backing to easterly 10 to 20 near midnight except northeasterly outflow 30 near the mainland inlets. Wind becoming southeast 20 to 30 Friday morning except northeasterly outflow 30 near the mainland inlets. Wind becoming southeast 20 Friday evening.


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


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


Issued 04:00 PM PDT 27 October 2016
Saturday – Wind northeast 15 knots.
Sunday – Wind variable 5 to 15 knots.
Monday – Wind southeast 10 to 15 knots.