Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 5, 2016 18:00

Next Situation Report
November 6, 2016 – 09:00 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)
John Kervel (Provincial Incident Commander) Relieving Graham Knox
Jim Guidry (Kirby Incident Commander) 


• 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.
• All responders not receiving operational text message updates are to ensure their contact information is updated with the ICP.
• All incidents must be reported immediately by supervisors and without delay so an adequate safety investigation can be completed.

• 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


On Scene Safety
• CCGS Tully will provide on-scene coordination to all vessels in the field (24 hours).
• Small boat operations are suspended today due to current and forecasted weather. Medium-sized boat operations were suspended as of 1130 hours. Large vessel operations were suspended as of 1530 due to weather.
• The CCGS Tanu will escort CCG and Heiltsuk representatives today and will continue to provide safety and support for incident personnel in Seaforth Channel, offloading at 1900.
• Supervisors must ensure names of personnel in SCAT, sampling and other teams are updated in the Assignment List (204s) prior to the start of the next operational period.
• UC has directed development of an on-water communications schedule going forward. Discussed at Safety Meeting at 0730 hours.
• NOTAM extended to 11th November 2016 at midnight (2500’ ceiling and 5nm radius around the casualty).
• The CCGS Tully 2 is to transfer personnel between Bella Bella and the casualty site as needed.
• Agencies bringing a new craft or vessel on-scene must ensure to notify Safety Enforcement Group Supervisor.

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 tonne 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*)
• An estimated 0.1 liters release from NES was observed within the primary containment area.
• GM Penman and Eagle Bay continued to provide support to vessels repairing boom at the casualty site.
• Eagle Bay re-secured 1000ft of Kempner boom around the ZB 189 and then removed 1500ft of GP boom from around the ZB 189 barge and secured on deck.
• GM Penman will give real time environmental updates from the casualty.
• CCGS Tanu has two Heiltsuk representatives onboard for local patrol in Seaforth Channel and safety and support functions.
• All sorbent boom will be recovered and not left out during bad weather conditions.
• The CCGS Tanu will be replaced by the CCGS Gordon Reid at 1000 hours on November 06.
• CCGS Bartlett is anchored south of Saunders Island. Bartlett will provide secondary ICP support and functions throughout the night.
• CCGS John P. Tully is holding position in Seaforth Channel north of Gale Creek passage, standing by until further notice. Tully will depart November 06 by 2000 hours and will transfer all ICP support from 1800-0600 hours to the CCGS Bartlett. The incoming Federal IC on the Tully will be Mike McCullagh, relieving Victor Gronmir.
• Bartlett intends to sail at 0700 to offload deck cargo via helicopter to Ivory Island at 1000 – not incident-related.

Air Operations
• National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) overflight observed an estimated 0.1 L of sheen within the primary containment boom at the site of the NES.
• NASP overflight will now take place once per day depending on weather. Will increase to two flights per day when weather stabilizes.
• DASH 7 overflight took place at 1000, focusing on casualty site, Gale Creek and East Tuno.
• A-STAR transported and recovered crew from Gale Creek.
• Drone flights cancelled due to weather.

• Overall sampling includes tissue, sediment, water, vegetation sampling.
• FAST, Recon and SCAT teams continue to collect samples as required by reports from the field, weather permitting. Analysis of sampling results will be provided in a separate form following review and analysis of the data.
• All sampling assignments were completed today. Hakai Ranger conducted sampling at the casualty site and Athlone Island, and Abigail conducted sampling in East Tuno and Powell Anchorage.
• Environment Canada (SSC) continues to support contingency planning for salvage operations with trajectory modeling in the event of a release and site specific weather forecasting.

SCAT – (SCAT teams have a mixed representation from Heiltsuk Nation, CCG, BC Ministry of Environment and Polaris with sampling by Cardno)
• SCAT teams stood down until weather permitting.
• Next SCAT teams will finish the survey in Gale Creek, and re-survey the segments that have had shoreline treatment recommendations carried out on them. Surveys will be moved to North Side of Seaforth Channel, weather dependent. Priorities may change during the removal of the casualty if there is a release.
• Subject to weather conditions, when able PRE-SCAT surveys on the shoreline of Thompson Bay will work north in Gale Creek. When completed, teams will move to the north shoreline of Seaforth Channel from Spiller Channel to Ivory Island.
• SCAT Teams have surveyed 145km of shoreline
• 3 Shoreline treatment recommendations have been produced and actioned. Shoreline treatment areas are in Segment 1798 covering 150m inshore from the casualty site.
• When weather is permitting, will survey the shoreline inshore from the vessel to continue to monitor the conditions.

• Wildlife field team completed surveying the south shore of Seaforth channel on the Elizabeth Anne from Cape Swaine to Idol Point. No oiled wildlife observed. Team will move to North Gale Creek tomorrow, weather dependent.

• Archaeology vessel is surveying the shoreline south of the casualty site.
• Archaeology plan is being developed for submission to UC.

• Town Hall meeting between IC/UC and response personnel took place from 1200-1300 hours.
• Cultural briefings are available for all incoming personnel.
• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 1600 hours (05/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Winds: SE 25-30. G 35-40.
Skies: overcast, visibility 3nm.
Barometer: 998.3 mbar, barometer steady.
Sea: 1-1.5m swell from W, 1-2’ Chop.
Temp: 11.5°C

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 16:00 PDT 05/11/2016 (Environment Canada)

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 10:30 AM PDT 5 November 2016
Today Tonight and Sunday
At 10:30 a.m. PDT today departing frontal system located on a line north-south over southern Vancouver Island.
At 10:30 a.m. PDT today low 988 mb located over southern Bowie.
By 4:00 p.m. PDT today weakening low 990 mb located over Haida Gwaii.
At 10:00 a.m. PST Sunday intensifying frontal system located west of the offshore waters.
By 10:00 p.m. PST Sunday frontal system located from Haida Gwaii to Explorer.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 AM PDT 05 November 2016
Today Tonight and Sunday Storm warning in effect. Wind southeast 25 to 35 knots increasing to southeast 35 to 45 early this afternoon then diminishing to southwest 30 early this evening. Wind diminishing to southerly 20 after midnight then increasing to southeast 30 Sunday morning. Wind increasing to southeast 40 Sunday afternoon and to southeast 45 to 55 Sunday evening.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 05 November 2016
Today Tonight and Sunday Seas 4 to 6 metres subsiding to 4 after midnight and to 3 overnight. Seas building to 4 Sunday afternoon and to 6 Sunday evening.


Issued 10:30 AM PDT 05 November 2016
Today Tonight and Sunday Periods of rain late this afternoon and tonight. Rain beginning Sunday afternoon.


Issued 04:00 AM PDT 05 November 2016
Wind southeast 50 to 60 knots diminishing to south 25 to 35 in the morning.
Wind south 20 to 30 knots.
Wind south 15 to 25 knots increasing to southeast 40 to 50.