Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 9, 2016 17:00

Next Situation Report
November 10, 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)
Clay Evans (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
• No vessel restrictions today.
• 200 meter safety exclusion zone around heavy lift barge DB GENERAL will be enforced during relocation operations.
• BARTLETT 1 and GORDON REID 1 at Nathan E. Stewart site for enforcement of exclusion zone, safety, and support.
• Lifeboat Cape St. James underwent unplanned maintenance at 1100, arrived at Nathan E. Stewart site at 1200.
• 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.
• ICP receiving hourly field updates during all operations.
• 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
• Remaining anchors and Stevshark anchor secured to DB GENERAL heavy lift barge; connection to Nathan E. Stewart completed;
• Divers worked to ensure all cables and equipment were safely secured and positioned in preparation for repositioning operation.
• Repositioning of Nathan E. Stewart commenced at 1305 at the direction of the salvage masters on scene.
• Divers entered water at 1450 to blow-down potable water and forepeak tanks in Nathan E. Stewart to increase buoyancy of vessel to assist with repositioning operation.
• 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*)
• No vessel restrictions today.
• 2000’ of general purpose boom staged on BC#26 in Norman Morrison Cove in preparation for containment around receiving barge MLT-4000-2.
• EAGLE BAY secured 1000’ Kepner boom West of Nathan E. Stewart to create a natural collection point in the event of a release during salvage operations. Fuzzy disc skimmer in position within the West Kepner Boom containment area.
• 1000’ Kepner Boom in position to the East of Nathan E. Stewart site.
• LITTLE BROTHER extracted primary boom containment around Nathan E. Stewart in preparation for relocation.
• General purpose boom near East Gale Creek Clam Beds was opened overnight by weather, 150’ section of boom replaced.
• Salvage teams, On-Water Recovery, Recon and Boom Maintenance Teams to stay onsite for nighttime operations.
• 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
• Observation flights occurred at 0900, 1200, 1300, and 1500. Accountability flight took place at 1600. Field crews extracted at 1430.


• Sampling teams collected tissue samples from Barry Inlet, Gale Creek Tidal Pool, Gale creek High Beach, Gale Creek Inlet and Gale Creek Narrows. Water, sediment and tissue samples were collected from Matilda and Raymond.
• 3 sampling teams (1 dive team, 1 boat team, 1 helo team) will redeploy tomorrow to continue sample collection at Gale Creek, Berry Inlet, Dufferin, Dundavin, E Tuno, Powell Anchorage, Oliver Cove, Berry Inlet, Raymond and Matilda.
• 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 surveyed in Spiller Channel.
• Surveys will move to the North Side of Seaforth Channel, Dearth Island Group and Athlone Island, weather dependent. Priorities may change during the removal of the Nathan E Stewart in the event of a release during relocation operations.

• Wildlife teams conducted on-water wildlife monitoring around Nathan E. Stewart site, zero oiled or distressed wildlife observed.
• Wildlife teams will redeploy tomorrow to same positions as today, will continue surveys in and around Seaforth Channel with close monitor around relocation operation.

• 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 1600 hours (09/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Wind: E 14 gusting 18 kts
Seas: 0.5m swell from W, 8 second period
Skies: 1/8
Barometer: 1017.2 mb slow fall
Visibility: 10+ NM
Temp: 10.5° C
Precipitation: None

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 18:00 PDT 08/11/2016 (Environment Canada)

Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion

Issued 10:30 AM PST 9 November 2016
Today Tonight and Thursday

At 10:30 a.m. PST today dissipating frontal system located on a line northeast-southwest over the Lower Mainland.

At 10:30 a.m. PST today intensifying frontal system located west of Bowie.

By 4:00 p.m. PST Thursday weakening frontal system located on a line north-south over Cape Scott.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 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 late 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 10:30 AM PST 9 November 2016
A slow moving frontal system approaching from the west will intensify as it reaches Bowie this afternoon. The front will weaken on Thursday as it stalls in a north to south line just off the Central Coast.

Gale to storm force southeasterlies will develop ahead of the front today over all central and northern waters. Strong to gale force southerlies will prevail behind the front. Winds will remain light to moderate over the far south.


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.