Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 1, 2016 13:00

Next Situation Report
November 1, 2016 – 1700 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) relieved Philip Murdock
Graham Knox (Provincial Incident Commander)
Matt Lewis (Kirby Incident Commander) relieved Jim Guidry


SAFETY (as of 1300 hours, 01/11/16)
• Weather conditions called for a small vessel restriction in Seaforth Channel until 0945
• 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 IAP for period 18 has been amended
• 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 01/11/16, 1300 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
• 1049 Tully informed by ICP that DB General and support resources begin to pull anchors and move into Norman Morrison Bay due to predicted weather conditions.
• Casualty hooked to 10 ton 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*)
• 0950 Deflection boom strategy completed with 1000’ of Kepner boom east of the casualty to reinforce protection of the shoreline and Gale Creek.
• GM Penman, Ingenika and Pender Breeze positioned west of casualty with current buster deployed.
• Collection/deflection boom west of casualty has been removed to expected weather conditions, being stored on BC17 barge in Norman Morrison Bay.
• Deflection boom south of casualty along shoreline being towed by Ingenika to Norman Morrison Bay and deployed around the ZB189 barge.
• Containment boom around the casualty, the deflection boom at the mouth of Gale Creek, and the protection boom in Gale Creek Lagoon area will remain.
• All sorbent boom will be recovered and not left out during bad weather conditions.

Air Operations
• 0830 Beach crew delivery flights using the A-STAR helo.
• Observation overflights when possible (no set schedule)
• DASH 7 Overflights are cancelled for the day
• 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 were stood down temporarily due to weather restrictions (small vessels). Resumed at 0945.

• Wildlife observers are on vessels at casualty observing during repositioning operations. Now have been recalled back to port
• Other wildlife field team was stood down temporarily due to weather restrictions (small vessels). Resumed at 0945.
• 1126 Tully reports whale sighting (2) north of Gale Creek.

• Archaeology vessel is surveying the shoreline south of the casualty site.
• Species at risk relocation dives have continued throughout the operation as windows of opportunity arise.
• Sampling teams were stood down temporarily due to weather restrictions (small vessels). Resumed at 0945.
• 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 conducted interview with UC members at ICP
• Request from CBC Daybreak for interview, being coordinated by PIO
• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 1300 hours (01/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Winds: ESE 10-14
Sea: 0.5m swell, 1’ chop
Visibility: 10 nm
Air temp: 9.1°C
Barometer: 1000.9 mbar, slow fall.
Skies: Overcast skies 8/8

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 06:00 AM PDT 01/11/2016
Forecast Issue Time: 1300 PDT 01/11/2016 (Windy TV)
Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 10:30 AM PDT 1 November 2016 – Today Tonight and Wednesday
At 10:30 a.m. PDT today frontal system located over northwestern Explorer.
By 9:00 p.m. PDT tonight frontal system located on a line north-south over northern Vancouver Island.
At 4:00 a.m. PDT Wednesday approaching frontal system located west of the offshore waters.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 AM PDT 01 November 2016 – Today Tonight and Wednesday
Storm warning in effect.
Wind southeast 30 to 40 knots increasing to southeast 40 to 50 this afternoon then diminishing to southeast 25 to 35 early this evening. Wind diminishing to southeast 15 to 25 late this evening then increasing to southeast 25 to 35 late overnight. Wind increasing to southeast 40 to 50 Wednesday morning.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 01 November 2016 – Today Tonight and Wednesday
Seas 2 to 3 metres building to 3 to 5 late this morning and to 5 to 7 Wednesday afternoon.


Issued 10:27 AM PDT 1 November 2016
A frontal system over northern waters will reach central waters this afternoon. Strong to gale force southeasterly winds prevail over northern and central waters ahead of the system. Winds will rise to marginal storm force off the Central Coast and the west coast of Vancouver Island by this afternoon. Another frontal system will approach the offshore waters Wednesday morning. Gale to storm force winds will develop over most BC waters on Wednesday.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 01 November 2016
Thursday – Wind south 35 to 45 knots increasing to southeast 45 to 55 in the afternoon then diminishing to south 30 to 40 late in the day.
Friday – Wind south 25 to 35 knots increasing to southeast 40 to 50.
Saturday – Wind south 30 to 40 knots diminishing to south 25 late in the day.