Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
October 31, 2016 16:00

Next Situation Report
October 31, 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
• After removal of the casualty, assess damage to the habitat and if necessary develop a restoration plan

Unified Command
Jim Guidry (Responsible Party Incident Commander)
Jess Housty (Heiltsuk On Scene Commander)
Philip Murdock (Canadian Coast Guard Federal Incident Commander)
Graham Knox (Provincial On Scene Commander)


SAFETY (as of 0800 hours, 31/10/16)
• ***No vehicle traffic starting at 1700hrs until 2100hrs in Bella Bella for SAFETY around Halloween Activities (31st October only)***
• Safety Officer is now Kelli Turner.

• 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 31/10/16, 1600 hours)
On Scene Safety
• NOTAM extended to 11th November 2016 at midnight (2500’ ceiling and 5nm radius around the casualty).
• CCGS Bartlett will depart at 1700hrs, CCGS Tully will provide on-scene coordination to all vessels in the field for the day & night.
• 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.

Salvage Ops
• 1404 Resolve Pioneer all 4 anchors are set for DB General
• Preparing for getting the DB General into position at the casualty sight.

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*)
• Collection boom strategy in place on west side of casualty site in preparation for future casualty repositioning operations, deflection boom strategy in progress east of the casualty to reinforce protection of the shoreline and Gale Creek.
• Eagle Bay on night time skimming support as needed
• Maintaining boom around casualty and Gale Creek.

Air Operations
• 0830 Beach crew delivery flights using the A-STAR helo.
• Observation overflights when possible (no set schedule)
• 1000hrs & 1500hrs DASH 7 Overflights canceled due to poor weather conditions at site
• 1600 beach crew extraction flights will began.
• 1730 accountability overflight.

(CURRENT SITUATION as of 31/10/16, 1600 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 Lower Gale Creek.
• 0741 Reports sheen in Balagny Psg, 52 16.637 N 128 21.695W; on-water ops and ICP advised by Hakai Warrior – Fast Forward had sample taken, determined not recoverable.
• 1217 Fast Forward responded to sheen at Upper Gale Creek, collected sample and recommended strategy to operations vessel.
• 1245 Fast Forward responded to a report of 5-7 dead crabs (collected 1 crab for sampling) in lower Gale Creek.

• The wildlife field team conducting wildlife monitoring along the north shore of Seaforth Channel from Spiller Channel to Ivory Island, and Gale Creek.
• Reports of pod of orcas en route to Balagny Psg, taking photos for identification.
• Reports of humpbacks whale sightings.
• Sea otters sighted NW side of Thompson Bay

• Species at risk relocation dive at 100% cleared in the vicinity of the casualty, 90% clear at NE anchor site as of 0511.
• Sampling teams will gather Obtain surface water, sediment and vegetation. If possible, also obtain mussel, sea, clam samples, cucumber, urchin, and other samples collected from divers in the following locations as needed: Dundavin, Quynoot, Louisa, Powell Anchorage, East Tuno, Berry Inlet, Oliver Cove, 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.

• Reporter from Bella Coola visiting, until Nov 1st
• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 1500 hours (31/10/16)

Winds: SE 5-10 kts
Sea: Light wind ripples
Beaufort sea state: 2
Visibility: 10+ nm
Air temp: 11.2°C
Barometer: 1005.1 mbar, steady.
Skies: High overcast skies 8/8, precipitation on East horizon.

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 06:00 AM PDT 31/10/2016
Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

A frontal system will approach the central coast this evening.
Issued 4:00 AM PDT 31 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Tuesday
By 4:00 a.m. PDT today weakening low located near Cape Flattery.
At 4:00 p.m. PDT today frontal system located west of Bowie.
By 8:00 a.m. PDT Tuesday intensifying frontal system located on a line north-south over Haida Gwaii.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 AM PDT 31 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Tuesday
Storm warning in effect.
Wind light increasing to south 10 to 15 knots early this afternoon and to southeast 20 to 25 late this evening. Wind increasing to southeast 25 to 35 late overnight and to southeast 40 to 50 Tuesday afternoon. Wind diminishing to southeast 25 to 35 Tuesday evening.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 31 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Tuesday
Seas 2 metres building to 3 this evening and to 4 Tuesday morning.


Issued 10:30 AM PDT 31 October 2016 – Today Tonight and Tuesday – A few showers beginning near midnight changing to rain late overnight and ending Tuesday evening.


Issued 3:42 AM PDT 31 October 2016
An approaching frontal system will cross BC northern waters tonight. Strong to gale force southeasterly winds will spread to the Northern and central waters this evening ahead of the system. Winds will rise to storm force over central waters by noon Tuesday.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 31 October 2016
Wednesday – Wind southeast 20 knots increasing to southeast 35 to 45 in the morning then veering to southwest 35 to 45 late in the day.
Thursday – Wind south 35 to 45 knots increasing to southeast 45 to 55.
Friday – Wind southeast 25 to 35 knots becoming south 25.