Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
October 29, 2016 18:00

Next Situation Report
October 30, 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.
**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 are currently estimated at 101,104 litres of diesel and 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

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, 29/10/16)
• Safety inspections are being conducted for all vessels on the response
• 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 29/10/16, 1800 hours)
On Scene Safety
• NOTAM was extended to 11th November 2016 at midnight (2500’ ceiling and 5nm radius around the casualty).
• CCGS Bartlett will provide on-scene coordination to all vessels in the field for the day, CCGS Tully will provide at night.
• The CCGS Tanu relieved CCGS Gordon Reid at 1200hrs 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.

Salvage Ops
• Prepare for blowdown on casualty
• Revising Salvage Plan with new timeline

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*)
• Boom around the casualty was repositioned 900’ installed (replacement).
• Eagle Bay on scene for nighttime skimming support as needed
• Remove damaged boom on shoreline near the casualty using helo support.
 1033 CCG 212 helo slinging equip from the Cadal to shore south of casualty
• 1134 Abigail Started dive ops at west anchor point, 1434 Start dive ops, SE anchor, 1547 Divers in water around wreck
• 1436 Shawna Marie located sorbent pads outside of Strong Bay, collecting.

Air Operations
• 0830 Beach crew delivery flights using the A-STAR helo.
• 4 Observation overflights
• DASH 7 no flights today (crew rest & routine maintenance) back on 30th
• 1106 Clowhom Spirit 1 – Drone flying off the aft deck
• CCG 212 – Slinging operations for equipment and extraction of damaged boom.
• 1600 beach crew extraction flights will began.
• 1730 accountability overflight.

(CURRENT SITUATION as of 29/10/16, 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 Athlone Island on Milbanke Sound
• Segment: 1810 – 1813 (If justified on-scene continue to inland segments 1814 – 1816). Completed at 1300hrs.

• The wildlife field team conducted wildlife monitoring on the south shore of Seaforth Channel, from Idol Point to Cape Swain. The team then surveyed the north end of Gale Creek, Ivory Island and Paul Anchorage. Work was conducted from vessel Elizabeth Ann, operated by Rod Brown. A Heiltsuk member accompanied the wildlife field team. One sea otter was observed at Ivory Island. Two humpback whales were reported observed in Seaforth Channel off Ivory Island. One humpback was reported observed in Seaforth Channel (exact area unknown). No visibly oil impacted wildlife was observed.
• 0800 Tully reported whale sighting swimming south of Ivory Island.
• 1012 A-Star helo reported humpbacks swimming between Bartlett and Ivory Island, westbound.
• 1231Pender Breeze-Humpback Whale sighting Eastbound, center Seaforth Chnl
• 1310 Completed survey East of NES to Cape Swain, now heading from Cape Swain to Ivory, then Spiller
• 1455 dead salmon collected in Gale Creek
• 1530 Sheen reported by Fast Forward near Gulf Rival in Seaforth Chnl. Responded with absorbent pads, collected sample and called ops boat to assist with recovery.
• 1634 reported floating struggling cod at mouth of Raymond Pass. west of Odin Cove on pos. 52 13.044’N 128 11.205’W. 1717

• Ministry of Environment Provincial Incident Commander spoke with Heiltsuk personnel during morning briefing to answer any questions.
• 0856 Request drone ops; negative till 1100 for flights.
 1105 flying drone. 1122 done drone ops – FAST Team
• Species at risk relocation dive survey conducted for DB General Anchor lines/chains path and relocation of species at risk from casualty site.
• Sampling teams worked in Raymond Passage and Moth Pass
• Sampling teams gathered tissue, sediment, vegetation and water samples in the following locations as needed: Dufferin Clam Beach, Gale Pass High Beach, Gall Pass Narrows, Berry Inlet, E. Tuno, Oliver Cove, Moss Island, Raymond West, Matilda, Odin, Raymond West, Matilda, Odin.
• BC Ministry of Environment continued to work with Heiltsuk Nation, supported by Environment Canada in the Environment Unit.
• 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.

• VIP Visits plan to arrive in Bella Bella tomorrow Sunday, October 30th to meet with the Heiltsuk Nation:
 Minister of Department Fisheries and Ocean (DFO) Dominic Leblanc
 Commissionaire of Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Jody Thomas 
 DFO Chief of Staff Vince MacNeil
 Regional Director General DFO Pacific Region Rebecca Reid (Rebecca holds the equivalent position to Roger Girouard from the CCG)
 Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould (tentative)
• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 1800 hours (29/10/16)

Winds: Lt. Airs
Sea: light ripple
Beaufort sea state: 2
Visibility: 10+ nm
Air temp: 10.0°C
Barometer: 1010.3 mbar, steady
Skies: Overcast 8/8, light continuous drizzle

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 06:00 AM PDT 29/10/2016
Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

A weak low lying off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island this afternoon will move northward to lie off the central coast tonight. The low will gradually weaken Sunday

Issued 4:00 PM PDT 29 October 2016 – Tonight and Sunday
At 4:00 p.m. PDT today low 1008 mb located 30 miles southwest of
Cape Scott.
By 6:00 a.m. PDT Sunday weakening low 1008 mb located over southern
Hecate Strait.
At 11:00 p.m. PDT Sunday approaching low located west of Bowie.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 04:00 PM PDT 29 October 2016 – Tonight and Sunday
Wind east 5 to 15 knots increasing to southeast 20 to 30 early this evening then diminishing to south 15 late Sunday morning. Wind diminishing to light Sunday afternoon then increasing to northwest 10 to 20 Sunday evening.


Issued 04:00 PM PDT 29 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Sunday
Seas 2 to 3 metres subsiding to 2 late overnight.


Issued 04:00 PM PDT 29 October 2016 – Tonight and Sunday
A few showers beginning late this afternoon and ending late Sunday morning.


Issued 04:00 PM PDT 29 October 2016
Monday – Wind southerly 5 to 15 knots increasing to southeast 25 late in the day.
Tuesday – Wind southeast 25 to 35 knots diminishing to south 20.
Wednesday – Wind south 20 knots increasing to southeast 30 to 40 late in the day.