Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 6, 2016 17:00

Next Situation Report
November 7, 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)
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
• All boats operational today. Small vessels stood down as of noon due to forecasted weather.
• CCGS Bartlett is relieving CCGS Tully at approximately 2000 hours, will provide on-scene coordination to all vessels in the field (24 hours).
• CCGS Bartlett to support traffic and safety control in the area between Saunders Island and Idol Point this evening and overnight.
• The CCGS Tanu provided safety and support for incident personnel in Seaforth Channel. CCGS Gordon Reid relieved the Tanu at 1100 to assume duties.
• The CCGS Tully 1 will relieve the Tully 2 this afternoon, taking over field transport of personnel between Bella Bella and the NES site as needed.
• 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.
• NOTAM extended to 11th November 2016 at midnight (2500’ ceiling and 5nm radius around the casualty).
• 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*)
• Prior to casualty repositioning operations, divers will perform additional surveys and abalone relocation in the casualty site beginning tomorrow morning, weather depending.
• Fast Forward and Work Boat 29 recovered sorbents within the casualty area and Gale Creek.
• The deflection boom West of Gale Creek was replaced and reinstalled with 750ft of general purpose boom. The sorbent pad in Gale Creek was recovered.
• Burrard Cleaner 4 repairing deflection boom West of Gale Creek entrance. Eagle Bay shadowed Work Boat 29 at Watch Island and Blair Inlet, recovering a piece of sorbent boom which they identified as fishing cork line.
• Outlaw (Jet Boat 11) replaced Jet Boat 130 in Gale Creek.
• GM Penman continues to give real time environmental updates from the Nathan E Stewart site.
• All sorbent boom will be recovered and not left out during bad weather conditions.
• CCGS John P. Tully is holding position in Seaforth Channel north of Gale Creek passage, standing by until further notice. Tully will depart by 2000 hours and will transfer ICP support from 1800-0600 hours to the CCGS Bartlett. The incoming Federal IC on the Tully will be Mike McCullagh, relieving Victor Gronmyr.
• Bartlett is to berth two drone operators and one Kirby representative from this afternoon.

Air Operations
• DASH 7 overflight took place at 1000, focusing on casualty site, Gale Creek and East Tuno. Second DASH 7 overflight took place in Spiller Channel, then south of Price Island followed by casualty site and Gale Creek at 1530.
• A Star crew deployment and extraction completed and provided an overflight to visiting VIP at 1200 hours.
• Accountability overflight took place at 1500.
• Second chartered A-Star to be used for operations flying in tomorrow morning.

• Several sampling assignments completed, with a focus on Gale Creek High Beach, Gale Creek Narrows, and East and West Gale Creek.
• 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.
• 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 were not able to finish assignments in Gale Creek due to weather.
• Tomorrow SCAT teams will focus on the north shore of Seaforth Channel and Spiller Channel, weather dependent.
• 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 the 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.
• 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 a survey of North Gale Creek and South Seaforth Channel from Idol Point to Cape Swaine, and from the North Shore of Seaforth Channel from Barry Inlet east to Bowen Rock. No oiled wildlife spotted.

• Archaeology team prepping for deployment.
• Archaeology plan is being developed for submission to UC.

• VIP visit plan to arrive in Bella Bella today to meet with the ICP and Heiltsuk Nation.
• Cultural briefings are available for all incoming personnel.
• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 1500 hours (06/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Winds: ExS 10-12 kts.
Skies: overcast, visibility 15+nm.
Barometer: 1006.9mbar, steady.
Sea: 1m WxS swell, rippled seas.
Temp: 11.2°C

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 12:00 PDT 06/11/2016 (Environment Canada)

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 4:00 PM PST 6 November 2016
Tonight and Monday
At 4:00 p.m. PST today intensifying frontal system located west of the offshore waters. By midnight PST tonight frontal system located from Haida Gwaii to Explorer. At 6:00 a.m. PST Monday quasi-stationary frontal system located over Queen Charlotte Sound.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 AM PST 06 November 2016
Today Tonight and Monday Storm warning in effect. Wind southeast 25 knots increasing to southeast 30 to 40 near noon and to southeast 50 to 60 early this evening. Wind veering to south 40 to 50 early Monday morning.


Issued 04:00 PM PST 06 November 2016
Today Tonight and Monday
Seas 3 metres building to 5 to 7 this evening.


Issued 10:30 AM PST 06 November 2016
Today Tonight and Monday: Chance of showers changing to rain at times heavy early this evening.


Issued 04:00 PM PST 06 November 2016
Wind south 25 to 35 knots diminishing to south 15 to 25 in the morning.
Wind south 10 to 15 knots increasing to southeast 40 to 50 late in the day.
Wind southeast 40 to 50 knots diminishing to south 25.