Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 10, 2016 17:00

Next Situation Report
November 11, 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 Nathan E Stewart, assess damage to the habitat and develop a restoration plan pursuant to SARA Certificate

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 as well as secondary 0.5 nm secondary outer 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 zones, safety, and support.
• 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
• Barge moved 150’ closer to Nathan E Stewart. Vessel began moving again at 1340 towards the barge.
• Divers have completed the blow down of forepeak, potable water, and ballast tanks.
• Lift bags were attached to the bow of the Nathan E Stewart but were unable to inflate due to sea swells.
• 1235 divers pulled due to increasing sea swells.
• Light sheen observed sourcing from the Nathan E. Stewart, drifting to the West.
• Cradle for lifting operation of Nathan E Stewart is complete and in position on receiving barge MLT-4000-2.

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 re-secured 1000’ Kepner boom West of Nathan E. Stewart to create a natural collection point in the event of a release during salvage operations. Vessel BC4 is holding Fuzzy disc skimmer in position within the West Kepner Boom containment area.
• Current Buster deployed West of Nathan E. Stewart site, in tow by the INGENIKA and PENDER BREEZE.
• 1000’ Kepner Boom in position to the East of Nathan E. Stewart site.
• GM PENMAN has skimming equipment deployed and is monitoring area West of Nathan E. Stewart.
• EAGLE BAY has skimming equipment deployed and is monitoring area East of Nathan E. Stewart.
• STRATEGIC #2, STRATEGIC OUTLAW, LITTLE CHRISTY and CKP on standby at mouth of Gale Creek with on-water recovery resources on board

Air Operations
• Overflights scheduled at 2 hour intervals starting at 0900, 1300 overflight was canceled.
• Additional 1000 overflight took place at request of IC.
• Dash 7 flight did not fly due to turbulence.
• Accountability flight took place at 1600.


• 3 sampling teams (1 dive team, 1 boat team, 1 helo team) will deploy to collect water, sediment and tissue samples at Gale Creek, Berry Inlet, Dufferin, Dundavin, E Tuno, Powell Anchorage, Oliver Cove, Berry Inlet, Raymond and Matilda.
• Yesterday, 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.
• 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)
• Survey teams deployed to the North Side of Seaforth Channel and the Dearth Island Group.
• SCAT surveys in Spiller Channel and Dearth Island complete.

• Wildlife were onsite around Seaforth Channel and Gale Creek with close monitoring around relocation operation. No oiled wildlife observed.

• Archaeology team preparing to deploy to predetermined sites.

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

Seaforth Channel Weather: – On scene update at 1600 hours (10/11/16)
(CCGS John P. Tully)

Wind: SE 10 gusting 16 kts
Seas: 1m swell from W, 7 second period with 1’ wind chop
Skies: 8/8 overcast
Barometer: 1008.2 mb steady
Visibility: 10 NM
Temp: 11.9° C
Precipitation: light rain

Seaforth Channel Site Specific Forecast

Forecast Issue Time: 12:00 PDT 10/11/2016 (Environment Canada)

Synoptic Discussion:
A north to south front, about 50 nautical miles west of Cape Scott as of 12 PM today, will weaken this afternoon and cross the Central Coast early this evening. Ahead of the front, gale force southeast winds will gradually ease this afternoon and diminish to moderate southerly this evening.

Day Thursday Thursday Thursday Thursday Friday Friday Friday Friday Saturday Saturday Saturday
Time PST 12:00 Noon 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 9:00 PM 12:00 Midnight 06:00 AM 12:00 Noon 6:00 PM 12:00 Midnight 6:00 AM 12:00 PM
Wind Direction Southeast Southeast South South South Southeast South East East East Southeast
Wind Speed (knots) 25 25-30 20 15 15 15 10-15 5-15 5-15 10-15 15
Temperature (C) 12 11 11 11 10 9 10 10 9 8 9
Weather Cloudy Rain Rain Rain Chance of showers Chance of showers Chance of showers showers showers showers showers
Visibility (SM) 9+ 3-5 3-5 3-5 9+ 9+ 9+ 9+ 3-5 3-5 9+
Waves (m) 2-3 3-4 2-3 2-3 1-2 1-2 1 1 1 1 1
Time (PST)

– Tides (m)























Seaforth Channel Specific Synoptic Discussion


Issued 10:30 AM PST 10 November 2016
Today Tonight and Friday
At 10:30 a.m. PST today frontal system located on a line north-south over Hecate Strait. By 4:00 p.m. PST today weakening frontal system located on a line north-south over Cape Scott. By midnight PST tonight quasi-stationary frontal system located on a line north-south over Vancouver Island. At 4:00 p.m. PST today low 966 mb located 350 miles west of Bowie. By 4:00 a.m. PST Friday low 972 mb located over the Gulf of Alaska.

Central Coast Marine Forecast (Environment Canada)


Issued 10:30 AM PST 10 November 2016
Today Tonight and Friday
Gale warning in effect. Wind southeast 35 to 45 knots diminishing to southeast 25 to 35 this afternoon and to southeast 15 to 25 early this evening. Wind diminishing to southeast 10 to 15 near noon Friday.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 10 November 2016
Today Tonight and Friday
Seas 3 to 4 metres building to 4 to 6 early this morning then subsiding to 3 to 4 late overnight.


Issued 10:37 AM PST 10 November 2016
A 958 millibar low over northeastern Pacific will move northeastward and locate over the Gulf of Alaska by Friday morning. An intense frontal system from the low currently over Hecate Strait will weaken as it reaches the northern tip of Vancouver Island late this afternoon. The front will then stall over Central Vancouver Island tonight.

Ahead of the front, storm force southeasterlies will persist over central and northern waters this afternoon. Strong to gale force southerlies will prevail behind the front. Southeast winds over the southern waters will rise to strong to gale force tonight.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 10 November 2016
Wind easterly 5 to 15 knots increasing to south 15 to 25 in the afternoon and to southeast 35 to 45 late in the day.
Wind southeast 35 to 45 knots diminishing to southwest 15 to 25 late in the day.
Wind southwest 15 to 25 knots becoming south 15.