Coast Guard releases independent review of Marathassa spill

An independent review of the M/V Marathassa incident has found that denial by the polluter that the vessel was leaking fuel was among several key factors that complicated the identification of the source of the spill and caused an initial delay in recognizing the magnitude of the incident.

This was among the findings of the Independent Review of the M/V Marathassa Fuel Oil Spill which was released in a press conference here today by its author John Butler.

According to the report, despite uncertainty as to the source of the spill, the Coast Guard and its partners ensured skimming began almost immediately, which was the right response. Shortly after, resources were deployed to put a significant amount of containment boom around the suspected vessel as a precautionary measure. The Review found that by April 9th “the operational response proceeded remarkably well, as the source had been located and controlled with boom and the on water clean-up and recovery operation was proceeding as expected.”

Quick Facts

  • Western Canada Marine Response Corporation mobilized to English Bay 48 minutes after they were activated, well within CCG’s standard of mobilizing resources within six hours of completion of the assessment.
  • Factors that the Report says delayed the positive identification of the M/V Marathassa as the source of the spill included the denial by the polluter that the spill originated with the Marathassa and the movement of the fuel oil in the tide.
  • The Government of Canada accepts all of the recommendations pertaining to it made by Mr. Butler in his independent report. Work is well underway to fully address all of these recommendations.

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