Seaforth Channel Incident

Incident Start Date
October 13, 2016 01:13

Current Date/Time
November 12, 2016 09:00

Next Situation Report
November 12, 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 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
• Wind and waves expected to pick up late today.
• NOTAM extended to November 15th.
• No vessel restrictions today.
• 200 meter safety exclusion zone as well as secondary 0.5 nm secondary outer exclusion zone around Nathan E Stewart site will be enforced for safety.
• 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 and Cape St. James 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).
• Agencies bringing a new craft or vessel on-scene must notify the Safety Enforcement Group Supervisor.

Salvage Ops
• Vessel secured with a 10 ton anchor at lifting location
• DB General at Norman Morrison and reconfiguring for lifting
• Nathan E Stewart inspected by divers for lifting operation overnight.
• Sheen observed sourcing from the Nathan E. Stewart, drifting to the West.

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.
• East Kepner boom to be redeployed south of Nathan E Stewart to protect shoreline from any potential releases.
• EAGLE BAY to reposition 1000’ Kepner boom West of Nathan E. Stewart to deflect any release into skimming vessels.
• 2000’ of general purpose boom staged on BC#26 in Norman Morrison Cove in preparation for containment around receiving barge MLT-4000-2.
• 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, and LITTLE CHRISTY on standby at mouth of Gale Creek with on-water recovery resources on board.

Air Operations
• Overflights scheduled at 0800, 0900 and 1400
• Additional overflight available if necessary.
• Dash 7 flight to leave Port Hardy at 0930, on scene at 1000. Second flight at 1630 and return to Port Hardy
• Deployment/Extraction flights for Archeology and Sampling 1400/1600
• Accountability flight to take place at 1600.

• Plan in development


• Team 3 to depart via helicopter for sampling at low low tide.
• 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.

• Two teams operating to the SW around Townsend Point.

• No oiled wildlife observed yesterday.
• A Minke whale was reported observed off Dearth Island. Twenty four humpback whale observations were made by reconnaissance vessels in Seaforth Channel. Two sea otters were reported observed in south Seaforth Channel, west of Gale Creek. One sea otter was reported observed off Dearth Island. Three Phalarope carcasses were recovered. They had no external signs of oiling.
• Wildlife personnel onsite at the South side of Seaforth Channel and North Gale Creek with close monitoring around casualty site.

• Gale Creek clam bed drop off at 1400 return at 1600

• Roger Girourd, Assistant Commissioner CCG visiting
• Cultural briefings are available for all incoming personnel.
• Spill information website has been activated

On scene update from CCGS Bartlett
0900 ON WATER WEATHER REPORT (12 Nov 2016)

Position of Bartlett:
At anchor 0.7’ NW of NES casualty (52° 14.9’ N 128° 23.9’ W)

Weather at Bartlett:
Wind: Light Air
Seas: 0.2M W, 7 second period
Skies: 8/8 overcast
Barometer: 1003.2 mb steady
Visibility: 6 NM
Temp: 9.7° C
Precipitation: Light Rain

Environment Canada Marine Forecast – Central Coast from McInnes Island to Pine Island (0040):

Storm warning in effect. Wind southeast 15 knots veering to southwest 15 to 20 near noon then increasing to south 20 to 30 late this afternoon. Wind increasing to southeast 30 to 40 this evening and to southeast 40 to 50 overnight. Wind diminishing to southeast 30 to 40 Sunday morning and to south 10 to 20 Sunday afternoon.

Mac McGregor Weather Report 111500Z

A weak isobaric pattern along the southern and central B.C. Coast will produce much lighter winds across the area today. A frontal wave approaching from the southwest will move into the area late day Saturday. Look for winds to increase Saturday afternoon and evening as this system moves into the area.

Winds of 10 to 15 from the SE will likely decrease in speeds to East around 5 knots with gusts to 15 knots later this morning and into this afternoon. These light Easterly winds should continue overnight into Saturday morning. Swells of 2 metres should diminish during the period to reach 1 to 2 metres by Saturday morning.

Not much change in this pattern expected on Saturday morning with East winds of 5 to 15 knots and 1 to 2 metre swells; however, after noon local winds will slowly begin to increase to reach 15 to 20 knots by early Saturday evening with resultant increase in swell to 1 to 2 metres.


The wind will increase overnight Saturday into Sunday morning to reach speeds of 25 to 35 knots by Sunday morning resulting in increased swells of 3 to 4 metres by Sunday morning.



Issued 3:51 AM PST 12 November 2016

A low will track across Vancouver Island today. Winds will shift to westerly gales in its wake this morning over west coast Vancouver Island regions then spread to central and the east entrance of Juan de Fuca Strait this afternoon.

Southerly gales will redevelop over the offshore waters this morning and spread to central and northern waters by early evening. As another system approaches overnight, the southeast winds from Hecate Strait to the Brooks Peninsula will increase to storm force. The frontal wave associated with this system will move across Vancouver Island Sunday afternoon. As it does, the winds will weaken through northern and central waters to moderate to strong westerlies. The winds through the Strait of Georgia will increase to southeast gales Sunday morning and diminish Sunday evening with the passage of the front.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 12 November 2016

Today Tonight and Sunday Storm warning in effect. Wind southeast 15 knots veering to southwest 15 to 20 near noon then increasing to south 20 to 30 late this afternoon. Wind increasing to southeast 30 to 40 this evening and to southeast 40 to 50 overnight. Wind diminishing to southeast 30 to 40 Sunday morning and to south 10 to 20 Sunday afternoon.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 12 November 2016

Today Tonight and Sunday
Seas 2 metres building to 4 late this evening and to 6 Sunday morning. Seas subsiding to 4 Sunday afternoon and to 3 Sunday evening.


Issued 04:00 AM PST 12 November 2016

Monday Wind southerly 10 to 20 knots diminishing to light in the afternoon.
Tuesday Wind south 15 knots diminishing to light.
Wednesday Wind light.