Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 8, 2016 17:00

Next Situation Report
November 9, 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
• All vessels operational today.
• 200 meter safety exclusion zone around heavy lift barge DB GENERAL will be enforced in preparation for relocation operations.
• BARTLETT 1, GORDON REID 1 and Lifeboat Cape St. James at Nathan E. Stewart site for enforcement of exclusion zone, safety, standby and support.
• ICP to receive hourly field updates during prep phase and execution of Nathan E. Stewart relocation operations.
• CCGS Gordon Reid currently at Anchor Perrin Anchorage to assist with traffic control and safety in the area.
• CCGS Tully 1 providing field transport of personnel between Bella Bella and the Nathan E Stewart site as needed; crew changed today at 1100.
• FAST FORWARD not running 24 hour shift as originally scheduled; tasked with crew change transportation.
• CCGS Bartlett providing on-scene coordination to support all vessels in the field (24 hours).
• CCGS Bartlett to manage traffic control and safety at the Nathan E Stewart site throughout the day.
• Supervisors must ensure names of sampling, SCAT, and other personnel 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 Nathan E Stewart).
• Agencies bringing a new craft or vessel on-scene must ensure to notify the Safety Enforcement Group Supervisor.

Salvage Ops
• DB GENERAL is currently waiting swell conditions to deploy inshore anchors.
• 2 offshore anchors set as of 0900.
• Divers and salvage ops on standby due to 2m sea swell at site (1m in open water).
• Cradle for Nathan E Stewart is being prepped on receiving barge MLT 4002.
• Nathan E Stewart secured 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*)
• All vessels operational today
• Primary boom surrounding Nathan E. Stewart compromised; will be removed prior to relocation operation; light sheen observed in the area.
• 2000’ general purpose boom staged on BC#26 in Norman Morrison Cove in preparation for containment around receiving barge MLT 4002.
• 1000’ Kepner boom (from BC17) deployed West of Nathan E. Stewart tug to create a natural collection point in the event of a release.
• Kepner boom West of Nathan E. Stewart is deployed but not anchored due to 2m swell. Anchors for west area Kepner are set, GM PENMAN and EAGLE BAY are holding the Kepner in position in water, awaiting a 45 min window to attach to anchors.
• EAGLE BAY and GM PENMAN are on scene and prepared to skim as needed.
• STRATEGIC #2, STRATEGIC OUTLAW, LITTLE CHRISTY and CKP on standby at mouth of Gale Creek with on-water recovery resources on board
• GM PENMAN in for repairs
• All sorbent boom will be recovered and not left out during bad weather conditions.
• Bartlett berthing two drone operators, one Kirby representative.

Air Operations
• All Dash 7 overflights cancelled due to turbulence.
• Charter helicopter 1 deployed sampling/environmental crews to worksites.
• Charter Helicopter 2 arrived on scene today.
• Last overflight of the day occurred at 1600.

• Sampling teams were deployed today (1 dive team, 1 boat team, 1 helo team), successfully completed work in Gunboat area, Gale Creek and High Beach; will redeploy tomorrow.
• 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 finished survey in Gale Creek today.
• Surveys will be moved to the North Side of Seaforth Channel, weather dependent. Priorities may change during the removal of the Nathan E Stewart in the event of a release.
• PRE-SCAT surveys on the shoreline 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 teams will redeploy tomorrow to same positions as today, will continue surveys in and around Seaforth Channel with close monitor around casualty relocation operation.
• Seal necropsy details have come back. Indicates death was the result blunt force trauma, likely a predation event (killed by a predator)
• 4 ft Dogfish found near Gale Rapids, recovered and sent in for tissue sampling

• 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 1600 hours (08/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Wind: NE 10 Gust 15 kts
Sea: 1m from west (8 second period)
Skies: 8/8 overcast
Barometer: 1007.0 mb steady
Visibility: 3 nm
Temp: 9.7 C
Precipitation: Light rain

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 06:00 PDT 08/11/2016 (Environment Canada)

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 10:30 AM PST 8 November 2016
Today Tonight and Wednesday
At 4:00 p.m. PST today weakening frontal system located on a line northeast-southwest over northern Vancouver Island. By 4:00 a.m. PST Wednesday dissipating frontal system located on a line northeast-southwest over Victoria. At 4:00 a.m. PST Wednesday frontal system located west of the
offshore waters. By 10:00 p.m. PST Wednesday intensifying frontal system located on a line north-south over central Bowie.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 AM PST 08 November 2016
Today Tonight and Wednesday
Gale warning in effect. Wind southeast 15 to 20 knots veering to southerly 15 to 25 this afternoon then backing to southeast 10 to 20 late this evening. Wind increasing to southeast 25 near noon Wednesday and to southeast 25 to 35 Wednesday evening.


Issued 04:00 PM PST 08 November 2016
Today Tonight and Wednesday
Seas 3 metres subsiding to 2 late overnight then building to 3 to 4 Wednesday afternoon.


Issued 3:50 PM PST 8 November 2016
A front extending southwest to northeast over Northern Vancouver Island will continue to weaken as it drops across Vancouver Island tonight. Moderate to strong southeast winds with local gales along the outer coast will ease to light to moderate south to southwesterlies behind it. Meanwhile strong to gale force
Southerlies are expected to linger over northern waters this evening.

On Wednesday another frontal system will move towards the offshore waters in the early morning and reach the Western Bowie region by late afternoon. Gale to storm force southeasterlies will develop ahead of this feature over the offshore waters in the morning and spread to the central and northern waters later in the day.


Issued 04:00 PM PST 08 November 2016
Thursday – Wind southeast 40 to 50 knots diminishing to south 20 to 30 in the afternoon.
Friday – Wind southeast 25 to 35 knots becoming southwest 25 late in the day.
Saturday – Wind southwest 25 knots increasing to southeast 40 to 50 late in the day.