Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 9, 2016 09:00

Next Situation Report
November 9, 2016 – 17:00 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 were 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.
• CCGS Bartlett providing on-scene coordination to support all vessels in the field (24 hours).
• 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
• Yesterday, the salvage barge was able to secure three of the five required anchors necessary for the relocation of the tug Nathan E. Stewart. While wind conditions were moderate, the sea swell in the area of the tug and where the remaining two anchors need to be set remained too high to safely continue salvage operations. Deploying the anchors and the connection of the pulling chains to the tug require the use of the heavy lift barge crane. When the crane is extended during high swells, it alters the center of gravity of the savage barge, and makes the work area unsafe. Connections to the anchors and the chain pullers have to be made by hand from the surface of the water. Throughout yesterday and last night, multiple connection attempts were aborted due to safety concerns. Salvage efforts will continue today, at the direction of the expert salvage masters on scene.
• Cradle for Nathan E Stewart is being prepped on receiving barge MLT 4002.

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.
• 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) to be deployed West of Nathan E. Stewart tug to create a natural collection point in the event of a release during salvage operations.
• Overnight: EAGLE BAY attempted to deploy Kepner boom West of Nathan E. Stewart, was unable to due to sea swell. Anchors for west area Kepner are set, EAGLE BAY AIS holding the Kepner in position in water, awaiting a 45 min window to attach to anchors.
• EAGLE BAY is monitoring area west of Nathan E. Stewart, 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

Air Operations
• Dash 7 to depart Port Hardy at 9:30 local time; flight plan entails an overflight of sunken gravel barge site to the North, followed by an overflight of Nathan E. Stewart Site, then returning to Bella Bella and remaining on standby to provide overflights as requested.
• Charter helicopter 1 & 2 will be performing overflights and deploying sampling/environmental crews to worksites.

• Sampling teams will be deployed today (1 dive team, 1 boat team, 1 helo team), to continue work in Gunboat area, Gale Creek and High Beach.
• Overall sampling includes tissue, sediment, water, and 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 yesterday.
• 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 during relocation operations.

• 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.
• Deceased Red-Necked Phalarope found and recovered, to undergo necropsy.

• Archaeology team prepping for deployment.
• Archaeology plan is being reviewed by UC.

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

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 0700 hours (09/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Wind: SE 10 gusting 10 kts
Seas: 1m swell from W, 8 second period
Skies: 1/8 overcast
Barometer: 1017.3 mb steady
Visibility: 10 NM
Temp: 8.9° C
Precipitation: None

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 18:00 PDT 09/11/2016 (Environment Canada)

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 4:00 AM PST 9 November 2016
Today Tonight and Thursday
-By 4:00 a.m. PST today dissipating frontal system located on a line northeast-southwest over Victoria.
-At 4:00 a.m. PST today frontal system located west of the offshore waters.
-By 10:00 p.m. PST tonight intensifying frontal system located on a line north-south over central Bowie.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 04:00 AM PST 09 November 2016
Today Tonight and Thursday
Gale warning in effect.
Wind southeast 10 to 20 knots increasing to southeast 25 to 35 this afternoon and to southeast 35 to 45 late overnight. Wind diminishing to southeast 15 to 25 Thursday evening.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 09 November 2016
Today Tonight and Thursday
Seas 3 to 4 metres building to 4 to 6 Thursday morning.



Issued 3:53 AM PST 9 November 2016
A frontal system approaching the offshore waters this morning will move eastward and reach the Western Bowie region by late afternoon. Gale to storm force southeasterlies will develop ahead of this front over the offshore waters this morning and spread to the central and northern waters this afternoon.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 09 November 2016
Friday – Wind southeast 15 to 25 knots increasing to southeast 25 to 35 in the afternoon then veering to southwest 25 to 35 late in the day.
Saturday – Wind southwest 25 knots increasing to southeast 35 to 45 late in the day.
Sunday – Wind southeast 35 to 45 knots diminishing to southwest 15 to 25 late in the day.