In the early hours of the morning on July 26th, WCMRC received a Connect Rocket call from Pacific Basin Shipping Hong Kong reporting that a spill had occurred on a cargo ship at berth, the Maipo River, in Nanaimo Harbour. Initial details of the spill were sparse, with varying reports of the amount of product spilled.
WCMRC has responded to more than 700 spills since 1976. Learn about some of the larger incidents we have responded to in British Columbia as well as in other parts of Canada and the world.
On April 20, 2023 a fuel truck, laden with approximately 17,000 liters of marked diesel, fell off the back of a barge in Chancellor Channel, just off the east coast of Vancouver Island.
In early December 2020, WCMRC was activated by the Canadian Coast Guard to the east end of Bligh Island following reports of oil sheen coming from the MV Schiedyk a 150-metre cargo ship that ran aground in 1968.
The Nathan E. Stewart, a 10,000-tonne tanker barge, ran aground in Seaforth Channel near Bella Bella in October 2016, leaking more than 100,000 litres of diesel fuel.
A barge broke free of its mooring and ran aground in Esquimalt Harbour in May 2016, spilling 20,000 to 30,000 litres of diesel fuel.
The M/V Marathassa, a bulk grain carrier, leaked 2,700 litres of bunker C into Vancouver’s English Bay in April 2015.
In 2013, the federal government launched a major operation to recover the fuel of M.G. Zalinski, a U.S. Army transport vessel that had sunk on B.C.’s North Coast in 1946.
After the British Petroleum-owned Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, an estimated 780 million litres of oil spilled from the seafloor.
When the Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline beneath the Barnet Highway was ruptured by a backhoe in July 2007, 100,000 litres of spilled synthetic bitumen (synbit) traveled through storm drains into Burrard Inlet.
In August 2006, a large forest products carrier was punctured when leaving a pulp terminal in Squamish, rupturing the ship’s day tank and causing a leak of 50,000 litres of black oil.
BC Ferries’ Queen of the North ran aground at Gil Island south of Prince Rupert in March 2006, with 220,000 litres of diesel fuel and 23,000 litres of lubricating oil on board.
More than 40 CN rail cars derailed near the shore of Wabamum Lake west of Edmonton in August 2005, spilling 800,000 litres of bunker C.
When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound in March 1989, 40.9 million litres of crude oil spilled from its tanks.