Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 2, 2016 09:00

Next Situation Report
November 2, 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)
Graham Knox (Provincial Incident Commander)
Matt Lewis (Kirby Incident Commander)


SAFETY (as of 0900 hours, 02/11/16)
• 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.
• 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 02/11/16, 0900 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
• DB General has been moved to Norman Morrison Bay and conducting preparations for redeployment for next window of opportunity.
• Receiving Barge arrived and cradle for casualty is being prepped.
• 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*)
• There were no operations overnight. CCGS John P. Tully remained at anchor 0.7’ NW of the casualty.
• 2140 to 2149 Drone flight revealed no apparent signs of contaminants on the surface. Periodic checks of the casualty and the primary barrier were made from the Tully with the use of spotlights; all appeared to be in good order.
• GM Penman and BC4 remained in Shearwater overnight on standby.
• All vessels stood down due to current conditions and forecasted weather.
• 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 TBD (chance of flights today are low)
• 1600 beach crew extraction flights will begin (or as weather permits, maybe earlier).
• 1730 accountability overflight.

(CURRENT SITUATION as of 02/11/16, 0900 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 on the shoreline of Thompson Bay working north in Gale Creek. If completed, teams will move to the north shoreline of Seaforth Channel from Spiller Channel to Ivory Island.

The wildlife field team expects to complete wildlife monitoring along the south shore of Seaforth Channel, east and west of the casualty, and Powell Anchorage.

• Archaeology vessel is surveying the shoreline south of the casualty site.
• Weather permitting – Sampling teams will be at: Casualty Site, Athlone Clam Bed, Dufferin Clam Bed, Oliver, Moss, E Tuno, Powell Anchorage, Gale Creek High Beach, Gale Creek Narrows (if needed), 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.

•Request from CBC Daybreak for interview, being coordinated by PIO will be at 1030hrs on 2nd Nov.
• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 0900 hours (02/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Wind: NE 10-15 kts,
Skies: overcast, visibility 10nm,
Barometer 1004.7 and dropping steadily,
1.0m swell and 2’ chop,
Temp 7.7 Celsius

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 06:00 AM PDT 01/11/2016
Forecast Issue Time: 0900 PDT 02/11/2016 (Windy TV)

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 4:00 AM PDT 2 November 2016 – Today Tonight and Thursday
At 4:00 a.m. PDT today frontal system located over the offshore waters.
By 11:00 a.m. PDT today frontal system located over Cape St. James.
At 8:00 p.m. PDT tonight low located over western Bowie.
By 6:00 a.m. PDT Thursday low located over northern Bowie.
At 5:00 p.m. PDT Thursday approaching frontal system located off Explorer.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 02 November 2016 – Today Tonight and Thursday
Storm warning in effect.
Wind southeast 25 to 35 knots increasing to southeast 40 to 50 this morning then diminishing to south 35 Thursday morning. Wind diminishing to south 25 Thursday afternoon.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 02 November 2016 – Today Tonight and Thursday
Seas 3 to 5 metres building to 5 to 7 late this afternoon and to 6 to 8 late overnight. Seas subsiding to 3 to 5 Thursday morning.


Issued 3:45 AM PDT 2 November 2016
A frontal system is approaching the offshore waters this morning. Gale to storm force winds will develop over most BC waters as this system progresses northward throughout the day. As the frontal system moves through, a broad low pressure centre drifts into Bowie and therefore gale to storm force winds continue for most waters. A slight break in the winds is expected Thursday afternoon before the next big system starts moving into the southern waters.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 02 November 2016
Friday – Wind south 25 to 35 knots increasing to southeast 40 to 50 in the afternoon.
Saturday – Wind south 30 to 40 knots diminishing to south 25 late in the day.
Sunday – Wind south 20 knots increasing to south 30 late in the day.