Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
October 28, 2016 08:00

Next Situation Report
October 28, 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 public and response personnel
• Provide proper PPE to all Personnel
• Secure the vessel and refloat/remove from the marine environment
• Control the source
• Containment & collection during repositioning & lifting operation
• Maximize protection of environmentally-sensitive areas, prioritizing of sample collection
• Contain, Recover and Dispose of Spilled Material
• Remove oil from impacted areas
• Recover and rehabilitate impacted 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 Heiltsuk community and the environment
• Minimize local business interruption
• Maintain focus on mitigating and assessing environmental damage

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, 28/10/16)
• 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 28/10/16, 0800 hours)
On Scene Safety
• Tully will provide on-scene coordination to all vessels in the field for the day and remain overnight as well.
• Bartlett will be in for routine maintenance and will resume regular schedule on 29th
• The CCGS Gordon Reid continues to provide safety support to vessels in the field.
• The CCGS Tully 1 will replace the Bella Bella 1 as transfer personnel between Bella Bella and the casualty site.
Salvage Ops
• Dive operations – chain has been fed through the JAK pin tube of the casualty and then aft to the fish plate, where both ends are now attached. Another chain has been attached to the third connection point on the fish plate and the chain floating beam is currently on the Central Coaster preparing to deploy more chain once the stevshark anchor is set.
• StevShark Anchor will be set today
• Central Coaster also reports that the boom has been re-secured and that there is no sign of product on the water.

Spill Response Ops
• The GM Penman will be onscene for skimming as needed.
• Eagle Bay will relieve the GM Penman at night
• Ingenika and Pender Breeze will utilize current buster as needed
• TJ and Little Brother are recovering damaged boom on shoreline near the casualty.
• The Namgis and Burrard Cleaner #4 continue to maintain containment boom around the casualty.
• Boom being maintained in Gale Creek.

Air Operations
• 0830 Beach crew delivery flights using the A-STAR helo.
• 0900 observation overflight (late due to refueling)
• 09:30 Aircraft DASH 7 to conduct a surveillance flight – to overfly the West Beach of Goose Island during the morning overflight
• 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600 observation overflights
• 1230 – Personnel transport flight from Victoria dropping off CCG personnel for crew change.
• 1600 beach crew extraction flights will begin.
• 1730 accountability overflight.

(CURRENT SITUATION as of 28/10/16, 0800 hours)

• PRE-SCAT surveys along Gale Passage.
• Segments: 1687 – 1701, 1702 – 1713, 2048 – 2053, 1780, 1783, 1784, 1999, 2002, 2005 – 2009
• SCAT teams will have representation from Heiltsuk Nation, CCG, BC Ministry of Environment and Polaris.
• North Coast Ranger headed to Goose Island to investigate a possible sheen sighting and take samples as needed.

• The wildlife field team will complete wildlife monitoring along the south shore of Seaforth Channel west of the casualty, and Ivory Island/Powell Anchorage.

• Meeting at 1030hrs to discuss passive sampling protocol
• FAST team vessel will be changed from the North Coast Ranger to the Fast Forward.
• 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 (SSC) will continue to support contingency planning for salvage operations with trajectory modeling in the event of a release and site specific weather forecasting.

• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 08:00 AM PDT 28/10/2016
Seaforth Channel Weather: On scene update at 0800 hours (28/10/16)
Current Conditions:
Wind: E 14 knots
Seas: 0.5m swell, 1’ chop
Skies: Scattered clouds, no precipitation
Barometrics: 1009.2 mb and steady
Temperature: 8.4*C

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 6:00 AM PDT 28 October 2016 – A weak trough of low pressure will remain over the offshore waters today. It will swing northwards brushing the central coast tonight.

Marine Weather Statement

Issued 4:00 AM PDT 28 October 2016
A trough of low pressure lies over the offshore waters. A small low will travel up the east side of the trough bringing a local rise in wind and varying direction. This small low will be near Southern Vancouver Island this morning, near Northern Vancouver Island this afternoon and in Queen Charlotte Sound this evening.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Wind easterly 10 to 20 knots except northeasterly outflow 30 near the mainland inlets. Wind becoming southeast 20 to 30 this morning except northeasterly outflow 30 near the mainland inlets. Wind becoming southeast 20 early this evening then diminishing to variable 5 to 15 near midnight.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 28 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Saturday
Seas 2 metres building to 3 to 4 early this morning then subsiding to 2 Saturday evening.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 28 October 2016 -Today Tonight and Saturday
A few showers.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 28 October 2016
Sunday-Wind variable 5 to 15 knots.
Monday-Wind variable 5 to 15 knots becoming southeast 10 to 15 late in the day.
Tuesday-Wind southeast 25 to 35 knots diminishing to south 15 late in the day.