Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
October 28, 2016 18:00

Next Situation Report
October 29, 2016 – 0800 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.
**Today volume estimates were updated as follows:
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.
101,104 litres of diesel released to the environment.
4,883 litres of lubricants released (lube oil, hydraulic oil, gear oil, and spent lube)***

• 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 1800 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, 1800 hours)
On Scene Safety
• 1225 Private float plane reported near casualty site (~500’) UC considering NOTAM revision.
• 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 as daytime
• The CCGS Gordon Reid continues to provide safety support to vessels in the field. To be relieved by Tanu at ~1200hrs on 29th.
• The CCGS Tully 2 replaced the Bella Bella 1 as transfer personnel between Bella Bella and the casualty site.

Salvage Ops
• StevShark Anchor in position, deployment of chain in progress.
• Chain being prepared for deployment after Stevshark Anchor set.
• Prepare for blowdown on casualty
• Revising Salvage Plan with new timeline

Spill Response Ops
• Eagle Bay will relieve the GM Penman at night for skimming
• Damaged boom on shoreline near the casualty was stacked but not off beach due to tides and swells hindering access.
• In the case of a Spill the Drone group will be putting a drone in the air with IR cameras to track the spill dissipation.

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, 1800 hours)

SCAT – (SCAT teams have a mixed representation from Heiltsuk Nation, CCG, BC Ministry of Environment and Polaris with sampling by Cardno)
• PRE-SCAT surveys along Gale Passage.
• Segments: 1687 – 1701, 1702 – 1713, 2048 – 2053, 1780, 1783, 1784, 1999, 2002, 2005 – 2009
• North Coast Ranger headed to Goose Island to investigate a possible sheen sighting and take samples as needed.
• 1122 Marley Danielle reported a sheen on E. side of Cecilia Is. 52 17.327’N 128 23.259’W 5ft x 20ft. (north side of Seaforth Pass) FAST team enroute to investigate.
• 1122 Latoya Marie reported sheen at south side rapid in Gale Ck.52 11.09’N 128 23.04’W – 1ft. x 20 ft. FAST team investigated
• 1526 A-Star helo – observes sheen at stern of Central Coaster

• The wildlife field team began conducting wildlife monitoring on the south shore of Seaforth Channel, in a bay directly east of the casualty, based on a report of sheen in that area. Upon completion of that area, the wildlife team was contacted regarding a humpback whale carcass on the west coast of Goose Island (N51* 57.82 W128* 27.876.) The wildlife team travelled to the area and met with the North Coast Ranger (already on scene). A sampling team was on shore taking photos of the carcass and sediment samples around the carcass. The whale was not touched. Paul Coutrell, DFO BC Marine Mammal Response Network, is coordinating a team to conduct a necropsy on the whale (estimate 30 or 31 October).
• Work was conducted from vessel Elizabeth Ann, operated by Rod Brown. A Heiltsuk member accompanied the wildlife field team. No sea otters were observed in today’s monitoring area. Six sea otters were reported observed at the north entrance to Gale Creek. One sea otter was reported observed in Powell Anchorage. Seven orcas and two humpback whales were observed by the wildlife team in Seaforth Channel at the mouth of Raymond channel. Humpbacks (number unknown) were reported observed in Seaforth Channel north of the casualty, and at the south end of Spiller Channel. No visibly oil impacted wildlife was observed.

Proposed Wildlife Monitoring For 29 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. 0954 Kingfisher spots dead crabs below surface, FAST Team responding.(too deep to collect on arrival)
• 0936 Pender Breeze – Humpback whales sighted in Seaforth Channel. South of Ivory
• 1040 Ata-Tude observed sea otters, Dunavin Pt.
• 1001 Latoya Marie sighted 2 Humpbacks near Idol Pt.
• 1039 Fast Forward reported humpbacks center channel westbound in Seaforth Ch.
• 1200hrs report of decomposed whale near Goose Island, North Coast Ranger enroute to investigate.
• 1203 BC 17 reports Humpback Whale Hampstead Island and Fisher Point
• 1242 Chatham Mist 6 otters reported at the entrance to Gale creek
• 1248 Fast Forward reported 1 otter in Powel anchorage
• 1337 Fast Forward request permission for drone ops in Gale Pass and over NES.
• 1343 Fast Forward drone ops denied from ICP
• 1344 Fast Forward seal reported at gale creek mouth.
• 1528 3 Elizabeth Ann orcas observed in Odin Cove, Seaforth Ch.,1545 observed 7 orcas & 2 humpbacks in Raymond Ch. & Return Ch.
• 1345 Baby ling cod collected in Gale Creek for sampling

• Meeting at 1030hrs to discuss passive sampling protocol
• 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 1700 hours (28/10/16)

Winds: WxS 6 kts
Sea: 0.5m swell, 1’ chop
Beaufort sea state: 2
Visibility: 10 NM
Air temp: 11.5°C
Barometer: 1010.5 mbar, steady
Skies: Partial Overcast 5/8.

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 4:00 PM PDT 28 October 2016 – Tonight and Saturday
At 4:00 p.m. PDT today trough located over Bowie to Vancouver

Marine Weather Statement

Issued 10:30 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 along West Vancouver Island. A brief period of southeasterly gales are expected around Northwest Vancouver Island today then easing this evening.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 04:01 PM PDT 28 October 2016 – Tonight and Saturday
Wind southeast 20 knots diminishing to variable 5 to 15 near midnight.


Issued 04:00 PM PDT 28 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Saturday
Seas 3 to 4 metres subsiding to 2 Saturday evening.


Issued 04:01 PM PDT 28 October 2016 – Tonight and Saturday
A few showers.


Issued 04:00 PM 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.