In the early hours of October 13, the tug Nathan E. Stewart and barge DBL 55 ran aground at the entrance to Sea Forth Channel on Athlone Island. All seven crew members safely left the vessel. While the barge was empty of cargo, marine diesel released from the tug initiated a massive response operation:
- The incident started as a CCG search and rescue operation. The CCG Station Bella Bella lifeboat arrived on scene at 2:19 a.m. The incident progressed to include a spill response operation when WCMRC was informed at 4:30 am. [Activation & Source Control Phase]
- WCMRC has response equipment and trained response contractors stationed in Shearwater and they were deployed to the incident arriving at ~10:30am (6 hours after the first call). Their role was to place boom around the vessel to contain the diesel and begin deploying protection strategies along the shoreline. [Containment Phase]
- WCMRC cascaded in vessels and crew from Prince Rupert and Vancouver to lead the recovery and clean-up efforts. Those vessels arrived Thursday evening at 5:30pm. Further equipment, vessels and personnel were cascaded into the operation over the following days. [Recovery Phase]
WCMRC vessels and crews will remain on scene until the tug has been successfully removed from the area.