Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 7, 2016 17:00

Next Situation Report
November 8, 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)
Matt Lewis (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
• Small vessels are stood down today due to weather. Medium and large vessels are clear to operate until further notice.
• 30 meters safety exclusion zone extended to 200 meters around Nathan E Stewart site in preparation for relocation operations.
• CCGS Bartlett providing on-scene coordination to all vessels in the field (24 hours).
• CCGS Bartlett to manage traffic control and safety at the Nathan E Stewart site throughout the day.
• CCGS Gordon Reid responding to SAR incident in Northern SAR zone. Currently en route returning to Sea Forth Channel.
• CCGS Gordon Reid assisting with traffic control and safety in the area between Saunders Island and Idol Point.
• CCGS Tully 1 providing field transport of personnel between Bella Bella and the Nathan E Stewart 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*)
• Operations briefing taking place at 1700 at Brown Plaza.
• BURRARD CLEANER 4 supported MV ABIGAIL in dive operations for abalone relocation
• WORKBOAT 29, BURRARD CLEANER 4, STRATEGIC TJ, LITTLE BROTHER, NAMGIS are observing, maintaining and deploying boom as needed in and around the Nathan E Stewart site in preparation for casualty relocation.
• GM PENMAN and EAGLE BAY continues to monitor and give real time environmental updates from the Nathan E Stewart site.
• Yesterday, the deflection boom west of Gale Creek was replaced with general purpose boom. An additional 750’ of general purpose boom was deployed.
• All sorbent boom will be recovered and not left out during bad weather conditions.
• Bartlett berthing two drone operators, one Kirby representative.

Air Operations
• Overflight occurred at 0900 focusing on NES Site, Gale Creek and East Tuno.
• DASH 7 stood down for the day due to weather.
• A-Star crew transport stood down due to weather.
• Arrival of second A-Star delayed due to weather; expected tomorrow at 0900.
• Accountability overflight cancelled due to worsening weather conditions; no crews flown in today due to weather stand down.

• Sampling teams stood down for the day due to weather.
• Tomorrow sampling teams will depart on water, focusing on Gunboat area, Gale Creek Proper East and West. Additional team will focus on Gale Creek North and High Beach, to be transported to sites via helicopter.

• 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 stood down for the day due to weather.
• When able, SCAT teams will finish the survey in Gale Creek.
• Surveys will be moved to the North Side of Seaforth Channel, weather dependent. Priorities may change during the removal of the Nathan E Stewart 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 stood down today due to weather.
• From tomorrow, wildlife teams will continue surveys in and around Seaforth Channel with close monitor around casualty relocation operation.

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

• Cultural briefings are available for all incoming personnel.
• Spill information website has been activated

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 0800 hours (07/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Wind: SE 20 kts gusting 30 kts
Sea: 1ft swell Northwest
Skies: 8/8 overcast
Barometer: 1000.5 mb rising
Visibility: 6 nm
Temp: 13.7 C
Precipitation: Rain

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 12:00 PDT 07/11/2016 (Environment Canada)

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 10:30 AM PST 7 November 2016
Today Tonight and Tuesday

By 10:30 a.m. PST today quasi-stationary frontal system located on a line north-south over Queen Charlotte Sound.

At 1:00 a.m. PST Tuesday weakening frontal system located on a line north-south over Vancouver Island.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 AM PST 07 November 2016
Today Tonight and Tuesday
Storm warning in effect.
Wind southeast 45 to 55 knots diminishing to southeast 35 to 45 this evening and to south 20 to 30 after midnight. Wind diminishing to southeast 15 to 20 Tuesday afternoon.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 07 November 2016
Today Tonight and Tuesday
Seas 4 to 6 metres subsiding to 3 to 5 near midnight.


Issued 10:17 AM PST 7 November 2016
An intense front extending in a north to south line just off the Central Coast this morning will retreat slightly west across Queen Charlotte Sound this afternoon. The front will then shift eastward to Vancouver Island late this evening and will remain there through most of Tuesday.

Gale to storm force southeasterlies will prevail ahead of the front over most northern and central waters today with strong to gale force southerlies expected over the northern offshore waters. Southeast gales will persist ahead of the front over many South Coast regions into Tuesday.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 07 November 2016

Wind southerly 10 to 15 knots increasing to southeast 15 to 25 in the afternoon and to southeast 35 to 45 late in the day.

Wind southeast 40 to 50 knots diminishing to south 25.

Wind southeast 25 to 35 knots.