Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 17, 2016 17:00

Next Situation Report
November 18, 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, 128.23.16W at the entrance to Seaforth Channel. As of 14 November at 1609 PST, the tug Nathan E. Stewart was removed from the sea floor and secured to a transport barge. As a result of the initial tug grounding, diesel fuel and other lubricants were released from the tug Nathan E. Stewart.

The tug was loaded with 237,262 litres of diesel fuel. 24,670 litres of diesel fuel was transferred from the tug into the tank 3 port cargo tank on the barge before the pumps failed due to water in the engine room. As of 11 Nov 2016, after water separation 94,624 liters of diesel/oil mixture was verified to have been pumped off of the tug. Protective booming of the tug will remain in place throughout the salvage operation. Initial calculations based on volumes recovered have been revised and are 107,552 litres (up from 101,104 litres) of diesel and 2,240 litres (down from 3,668 litres) of lubricants (lube oil, hydraulic oil, gear oil, and spent lube) released to the environment. These numbers are considered final calculations.

On November 17, at 11:30 am, the Nathan E. Stewart aboard the MLT 4000-2, departed Seaforth Channel to Surrey.

• 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 Nathan E Stewart, assess damage to the habitat and develop a restoration plan pursuant to SARA Certificate

Unified Command
Jess Housty (Heiltsuk Nation Incident Commander)
Jeff Brady (Federal Incident Commander)
Graham Knox (Provincial Incident Commander)
Matt Lewis (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.
• All incidents must be reported immediately by supervisors and without delay so an adequate safety investigation can be completed.

• 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
• All vessels approved by UC are operational.
• CCGS Bella Bella 1, providing field transport of personnel between Bella Bella and locations in Seaforth channel as needed.
• CCGS Gordon Reid is providing traffic and safety control of all vessel operations at Norman Morrison Cove.
• 200 meter exclusion zone around original casualty site will be enforced for safety.
• GORDON REID in Seaforth Channel for enforcement of exclusion zones, safety, and support.
• ICP receiving hourly field updates during all operations.
• GORDON REID providing on-scene coordination to support all vessels in the field (24 hours).

Salvage Ops
• Barge CENTRAL COASTER and CEFER Raider have completed dive operations at casualty site.
• Small debris removed and sea floor survey continues at casualty site.

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*)
• All boom has been removed.
• Spill response resources are being demobilized.

Air Operations
• Boom slinging complete.
• Helo crew drops –0800 Gale Creek drops plus Coast Guard for slinging operations
• Observation flight at 0900, accountability flight at 1600.

• The MLT-4000-2 with the Nathen E. Stewart aboard, departed for Vancouver at 11:30 am.
• Shearwater/Gale Creek Decontaminated/Demobilization: Boats # 19


• Sampling and diving complete as planned.
• Sampling will continue to follow plan.
• Overall sampling includes tissue, sediment, water, and vegetation sampling.
• Environment Canada continues to support planning and site specific weather forecasting.

• 4 SCAT teams surveyed the western Gale Creek and Seaforth Channel near the incident site.
• All pre-SCAT completed

• Monitored the North side of Seaforth channel from Spiller to Ivory Island; Spiller Channel; South of Seaforth from Gale Rock to Cape Swain. No oiled wild life discovered.

• Archaeology surveying Gale Passage.

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

On scene update from CCGS Gordon Reid
1500 ON WATER WEATHER REPORT (17 Nov 2016)
M/V Nathan E Stewart Incident, Seaforth Channel
CCGS Gordon Reid

Position of Gordon Reid:
At anchor 2.5 E of Gale Rocks.(52° 14.2’ N 128° 19.1’ W)

Weather at Gordon Reid:
Wind: SE 9kts.
Seas: 0.4m swell from W, 9 second period
Skies: 63 overcast
Barometer: 1017.2 mb steady
Visibility: 10 NM
Temp: 7.3 C
Precipitation: light rain, continuous

Environment Canada Marine Forecast – Central Coast from McInnes Island to Pine Island (1030):

Gale warning in effect. Wind southeast 15 to 25 knots increasing to southeast 30 to 40 Friday morning.


Gale rocks site cleanup and shore survey ongoing.


Issued 4:00 AM PST 16 November 2016

Today Tonight and Thursday
At 4:00 a.m. PST today weakening low 1005 mb located over northern Bowie. By 4:00 a.m. PST Thursday dissipating low located over southern Bowie.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 17 November 2016

Today Tonight and Friday
Gale warning in effect. Wind southeast 15 to 25 knots increasing to southeast 30 to 40 Friday morning.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 17 November 2016

Today Tonight and Friday
Seas 2 to 3 metres subsiding to 1 to 2 early this evening then building to 4 Friday evening.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 17 November 2016

Saturday – Wind easterly 20 to 30 knots.
Sunday – Wind easterly 20 to 30 knots diminishing to northwest 15.
Monday – Wind light increasing to southeast 25 to 35 knots late in the day.