Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 3, 2016 14:00

Next Situation Report
November 4, 2016 – 09:00 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 15.5 nm from Bella Bella by water. The tug is aground in shallow water and is partially submerged.
**Volume estimates were updated as follows (on 28 Oct 2016):
The tug was loaded with 223,831 litres of diesel fuel. Kirby was able to confirm that 24,605 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. Initial calculations based on volumes recovered have been revised and are estimated at 101,104 litres of diesel and 3,668 litres (down from 4,883 litres) of lubricants (lube oil, hydraulic oil, gear oil, and spent lube) released to the environment. Further analysis of the composition of the recovered product will be required prior to a definitive number being released. ***

• 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
• After removal of the casualty, assess damage to the habitat and if necessary develop a restoration plan

Unified Command
Jess Housty (Heiltsuk Nation Incident Commander)
Brian Wootton (Federal Incident Commander)
Graham Knox (Provincial Incident Commander)
Jim Guidry (Kirby Incident Commander) 


• When approaching other vessels please communicate intension and take care when doing vessel to vessel transfers.
• Safety inspections are being conducted for all vessels on the response
• Safety protocols remain in place – as stated on previous situation reports.
• All responders not receiving operational text message updates are to ensure their contact information is updated with the ICP.

• 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


On Scene Safety
• NOTAM extended to 11th November 2016 at midnight (2500’ ceiling and 5nm radius around the casualty).
• CCGS Tully will provide on-scene coordination to all vessels in the field (24 hours)
• CCGS Bartlett en route from Port Hardy.
• The CCGS Tanu to provide safety support to vessels in the field.
• The CCGS Tully 2 is to transfer personnel between Bella Bella and the casualty site as needed.
• All small, medium, and medium-large vessels have been stood down due to weather. In Seaforth Channel and Gale Creek, authorized movements are permitted within protected waters.

Salvage Ops
• DB General has been moved to Norman Morrison Bay and conducting preparations for redeployment for next window of opportunity.
• Receiving Barge arrived and cradle for casualty is being prepped.
• Casualty hooked to 10 tonne danforth anchor in place.

Spill Response Ops – (*In the case of a spill the drone pilot will deploy a drone in the air with IR cameras to track the spill location for recovery*)
• Eagle Bay checked in at 1114 at Idle Point. Observed the casualty, the primary containment is still intact and holding, no product in the water or sheen. The deflection boom at the west of Gale Creek has separated 150ft from shore.
• BC4 arrived on scene. The combined wind wave and swell height did not allow for the repair of the deflection boom to the west of Gale Creek. Weather depending, attempt for repair will be made again tomorrow.
• CCGS Tanu has two Heiltsuk representatives onboard patrol between casualty site and Idol Point to conduct observation and monitoring.
• There were no major operations overnight. CCGS John P. Tully underway holding station 0.7’ North of Idol Point.
• GM Penman remains in Shearwater today on standby.
• All vessels stood down due to current conditions and forecasted weather.
• All sorbent boom will be recovered and not left out during bad weather conditions.

Air Operations
• Helicopters flying intermittently with respect to conditions.
• No DASH 7 observation flight due to weather. DASH 7 undergoing regular maintenance today.

• Weather permitting – Sampling teams continue to sample at 12 index sites and multiple other sites of opportunity as they become available.
• Sampling includes tissue, sediment, water, vegetation sampling.
• Analysis of sampling results will be provided in separate documentation following review.
• FAST, Recon and SCAT teams have collected samples at an additional 70 locations on 2nd November.
• Environment Canada (SSC) continued to support contingency planning for salvage operations with trajectory modeling in the event of a release and site specific weather forecasting.
• Note: Agencies participating in the EU include Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), BC Ministry of Environment (MOE), First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Focus Wildlife, Health Canada, Cardno, Pacificus, Kirby Offshore Marine LLP, Heiltsuk Nation, and BC Parks.

SCAT – (SCAT teams have a mixed representation from Heiltsuk Nation, CCG, BC Ministry of Environment and Polaris with sampling by Cardno)
• PRE-SCAT surveys on the shoreline of Thompson Bay working north in Gale Creek. If completed, teams will move to the north shoreline of Seaforth Channel from Spiller Channel to Ivory Island.
• SCAT Teams have surveyed 145km of shoreline
• 3 Shoreline treatment recommendations have been produced and actioned. Segments will be resurveyed again to determine effectiveness
• When weather is permitting, will survey the shoreline inshore from the vessel to continue to monitor the conditions.

• The wildlife field team stood down until weather permitting.

• Archaeology vessel is surveying the shoreline south of the casualty site.

• Cultural briefings are available for all incoming personnel.
• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 1300 hours (03/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Winds: S 20-25 knots, gusting 30 knots
Skies: overcast, visibility 8nm.
Barometer: 1010.7 mbar, steadily rising for the past 4 hours.
Sea: 1 -2 m swell, 2ft chop
Temp 11.6°C

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 06:00 AM PDT 03/11/2016 (Environment Canada)

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 10:30 AM PDT 03 November 2016
Issued 10:30 AM PDT 3 November 2016
Today Tonight and Friday. At 10:30 a.m. PDT today departing low located north of Bowie. At 4:00 p.m. PDT today frontal system located west of Explorer. By 4:00 a.m. PDT Friday frontal system located over Haida Gwaii to Explorer.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 AM PDT 03 November 2016
Today Tonight and Friday: Storm warning in effect.
Wind south 25 to 35 knots becoming south 25 early this afternoon then increasing to south 35 to 45 early this evening. Wind becoming southeast 40 to 50 late this evening then increasing to southeast 50 to 60 early Friday morning. Wind diminishing to southeast 35 to 45 Friday afternoon.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 03 November 2016
Today Tonight and Friday
Seas 6 to 8 metres subsiding to 5 late this morning then building to 7 near midnight.


Issued 10:30 AM PDT 03 November 2016
Today Tonight and Friday Rain. Risk of thunderstorms today. Visibility 1 mile or less in rain.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 03 November 2016
Saturday: Wind south 30 to 40 knots diminishing to south 25 in the afternoon.
Sunday: Wind south 25 knots increasing to southeast 45 to 55 late in the day.
Monday: Wind southeast 45 to 55 knots diminishing to south 25 to 35.