SITREP
Incident: BLIGH ISLAND SHIPWRECK
Incident Start Date DECEMBER 3, 2020
Location: BLIGH ISLAND, VANCOUVER ISLAND
 

Situational Overview

As a result of a number of sightings of sheening and oiling in the vicinity of Bligh Island / Zuciarte Channel, CCG confirms that the shipwreck of the M/V Schiedyk, a 483’ bulk carrier that sank in 1968, has started to release oil.

The situation escalated over (Dec 4-6), and heavy oil was observed on the water and staining rocks on the shoreline.  As a result the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) contracted the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) to deploy to the area.  CCG has established an Incident Command System (ICS) for this incident, with CCG as the Federal Incident Commander in this Unified command alongside Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation.

Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations report that the product is seeping from more than one location and that vessel is resting hull-up in 350–400 ft. of water.

M/V Schiedyk was carrying approximately 1000 tons of grain and pulp when it grounded.

Oil type is yet to be confirmed but currently reported as heavy fuel oil. Samples have been sent to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Pacific Environmental Science Center (PESC) and Emergencies Science and Technology Section (ESTS) laboratories from forensic chemistry and fate and behavior modeling. Upwelling is estimated at 1–4 L per hour but operations believe this may be increasing. Daily preventative actions are being taken to contain the immediate threats and prevent long-term damage to the environment.

The incident public website is live.

CCG has on going scheduled Transport Canada National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) overflights of the area. Drone operations continue.

Large amount off-shore boom has been placed to assist with heavy fuel oil containment. South of the wreck site deflection booming has been set up.

Numerous Geographic Response Strategy (GRS) boom has been implemented across ecological sensitive areas.

Safety
  • Public Safety and security
  • Safety of Responders
Incident Priorities
  • Maximize response staff integration across organizations.
  • Ensure safety of responders and the public.
  • Ensure a unified response effort to include Federal, Provincial, and Indigenous priorities.
  • Minimize impacts to ecological, socio-economic, and cultural areas.
  • Ensure fluid and efficient incident communication is easily accessible
Agencies Involved (either in person or remote)
  • Unified Command – Canadian Coast Guard, Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
  • Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response and other programs
  • National Environmental Emergencies Centre, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
  • Western Canada Marine Response Corporation
  • Ehattesaht Fisheries
  • Nuu Chah Nulth Tribal Council
  • Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation
  • Hesquiaht First Nation
  • BC Parks
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Canadian Wildlife Service

Incident Management Team (IMT): UNIT UPDATES

OPERATIONS

Summary: In-field operations to meet incident objectives are using a combination of floating, sub-sea and aerial resources. These resources provide direction daily, and conduct assignments like Aerial Observation, Protection Booming, Wreck Assessment, surface oil collection and recovery, as well as marine mammal and wildlife assessment. Operations staff are working out of Nootka Sound and Gold River, and following integrated Safety, Communications, and Logistical plans. Planning for these tactical operations is risk-based, and determined through a planning cycle. Equipment such as storage tanks/bins, consumable like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sorbents, as well as additional equipment for contingencies, are stored at the incident staging area near Gold River. Weather, remoteness, and a consistent upwelling of oil continue to challenge in-field operations.

  • Ewin Geographic Response Strategy (GRS) assessed and in good shape. (2021-01-09)
  • No change to Ro-Boom condition however chain was added to further secure damaged sections. (2021-01-09)
  • Atlantic Eagle will come along-side at 1300 tomorrow to load boom at Gold River. (2021-01-09)
  • Hydra vessel conducted air monitoring, no issues or concerns with air quality. (2021-01-09)
  • Unified Incident Commander Chief Jack will be on-scene to observe coordinated on-water activities on Monday. (2021-01-09)
  • Boom sticks are in and holding, extra boom sticks are tied off on the west shore line. One boom stick was found in the RO-Boom this morning and removed. A portion of the boom stick is low in the water but holding. (2021-01-08)
  • GRS looks good. Santa Gertrudis GRS still needs some repair work, scheduled for today. (2021-01-08)
  • RO-Boom is assessment was done and no new defects to report. (2021-01-08)
  • Favourable weather for drone operations. RO-Boom is effective in collecting all heavy fuels, some entrainment observed from the air that was not noticeable from the water. (2021-01-08)
  • The all-weather Drone has sustained damage today and is out of service until parts can be shipped estimated time to repair TBD. Drone operations limited to fair weather, no rain. (2021-01-07)
  • The Nelson Mac deployed anchors for the Boom sticks (2021-01-07)
  • Focus Wild Life conducted Wild Life assessment along with 2 DFO vessels with Fisheries officers (2021-01-07)
  • PRV 668 conducted boom assessment, safety line for the NW mooring was placed from anchor to bridal system. 2 “ Poly safety lines have been added to the West and East anchors. (2021-01-07)
  • This morning, after high winds and heavy seas overnight, it was discovered that 1 X 6ft section of Ro-Boom had torn apart where the belly strap is located near the South anchor. The boom bladders remained inflated but tore in two between the bladders. On-water crews were able to lash the two parts together with rope and then lined the damaged area with curtain boom. .  A National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) flight was requested and approved – NASP reported no pollution observed outside of the containment boom. (2021-01-06)
  • The oceanography data collection (Viking) buoy is located at Institute of Ocean Sciences. Buoy will be loaded onto the CCGS Bartlett for deployment in the next week. (2021-01-06)
  • Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) activities conducted mid-afternoon. (2021-01-06)
  • All on-water operations were cancelled at 1030 PST due to high winds and sea state. (2021-01-05)
  • Sea Truck 1 will try to conduct a drone flight this morning. (2021-01-05)
  • WCMRC Cortez Sentinel will be assessing RO-Boom for large debris. If they find unsoiled logs inside the boom they will move them to the south outside of the catchment area where the logs will then drift away. (2021-01-05)
  • WCMRC Sentinel 32,33 will be recovering small debris inside the pocket if weather permits. (2021-01-05)
  • Hydra vessel will be checking on GRS boom for proper anchoring and preparing for adverse weather. (2021-01-05)
  • Boom Inspection completed. Connections are in good condition. There are two Chambers that are flat and unrepairable. Drone flew over Concepcion Point fish farm and no product was observed. 668 is also assessing the area. (2021-01-04)
  • All vessels briefed and departing Critter Cove. PRV III will be inflating Ro-Boom, WCMRC tending GRS and recovery debris from Ro-Boom (2021-01-04)

LOGISTICS

Summary: This incident has challenged the Incident Command Post to find innovative ways to support responders at the remote incident site while also following COVID protocols. CCG and industry have integrated to bolster the existing communication network in the area to ensure responders have a safe and dependable means to communicate with each other and the virtual Incident Command Post. By cascading private/government equipment throughout Western Canada, responders have the on-water pollution counter measure equipment required. The current lack of tourism in the area allows responders to utilize lodging that had been shut down for the off-season.

  • Ongoing procurement of barge equipment and day to day resource requests (2021-01-09)
  • BC Hazardous Waste Generator Registration Letter approved and received. (2021-01-07)
  • Continuing to work on long term accommodation plan based on OPS need for personnel (2021-01-07)
  • Shipment of resource requests has departed Victoria, Gold River tomorrow (2021-01-07)
  • Atlantic Eagle alongside Gold River SUNDAY to load additional sea cans of Ro-boom (2021-01-07)
  • Creating a list of qualified Drone Operators for continuous Drone operations on scene over the next few months. (2021-01-07)
  • WCMRC moving trailers to Gold River today. (2021-01-07)
  • Completed resource requests up to today for delivery to Gold River Friday am. (2021-01-06)
  • 800 m of Ro-Boom is being re-deployed from Nova Scotia to Victoria, ETA 2021-01-13. (2021-01-06)
  • Bid process completed and the Tug and Barge contract is expected to be awarded soon. (2021-01-05)
  • Planning supply delivery to Gold River on Thursday / Friday (2021-01-05)

AIR OPERATIONS

Summary: Weather within the steep mountains that surround Nootka Sound continue to challenge aerial observations. The incident is using both fixed and rotary wing manned aircraft to provide real-time observations to ground crews. Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) is able to quantify and outline the on-water oil. This information is then used to support recovery operations and future trajectory modelling. In addition to manned aircraft, Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) teams from CCG and industry remain on scene to support individual task forces.

  • NASP overflight today but had to turn around 5 mins away from site due to bad weather. No report. (2021-01-09)
  • Drone flyover operations commenced at 1030 and completed by 1136 (2021-01-09)
  • Drone flyover today. Captured Ro-boom aerial. Containment holding, no pollution observed outside of boom. Some entrainment on the inside of the boom. (2021-01-08)
  • No NASP flight and No CCG Helo. (2021-01-07)
  • NASP overflight today conducted aerial surveillance in response to Ro-Boom failure. (2021-01-06)
  • NASP overflight was cancelled again today. (2021-01-05)
  • NASP overflight was cancelled today. Re-scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday January 5th. (2021-01-04)

BOOM IN PLACE. (2020-12-17)

  • 250’ of boom was destroyed and removed from Santa Getrudis GRS (2021-01-09)
  • Anderson Pt West GRS has been removed (2021-01-06)
Coordinates GRS Location Length of Boom (feet) Length of Boom (metres)
49°37.86’N, 126°27.01’W Mooyah Bay 2400 732
49°38.21’N, 126°27.53’W Small inlet NW of Mooyah Bay 250 76
49°38.49’N, 126°31.27’W Ewin Inlet 550 168
49°40.58’N, 126°28.21’W Cheesish Reserve/Tuta Marina 950 290
49°40.70’N, 126°28.59’W Cheesish Reserve NW Bay 2650 801
49°40.40’N, 126°28.08’W Cheesish Reserve SE Bay 1000 305
49°37.42’N, 126°31.02’W Bligh Island Gap 250 76
49°36.14’N, 126°37.06’W Santa Gertrudis Cove 800 243
49°38.15’N, 126°30.56’W Upwelling Site Deflection 1000 305
49°38.57’N, 126°28.70’W Anderson Point West 400 123
Total Deployed 10250 3124

 OIL RECOVERED

(oil product recovered is mixed with salt water and/or organics)

SOURCE Amount
M/V Schiedyk None
Surface Oil Dec : 26: 60 bags

Dec 27: 24 bags

Dec 28: 29 bags

Dec 29: 16 bags

Dec 30: 12 bags

Dec 31: 40 bags

Jan 1 and Jan 2: 0 bags due to poor weather

Jan 3: 45 bags

Jan 4: 31 bags

Jan 5:  29 bags

Jan 6: 14 bags

Jan 7: 12 bags

Jan 8: 12 bags

Jan 9: 70 bags and 2 super sacks

Environmental Unit (EU): UPDATES

Summary: All measures taken by the Incident Command Post utilize the Precautionary Approach and focused on minimizing damages and maximizing efforts. This approach to incident management relies on the Environmental Unit, which is comprised of Federal, Indigenous, Provincial and industry technical specialists and makes environmental-related recommendations to Unified Command that represents the interests of all contributing Environmental Unit members. An example of an ongoing agenda item for the Environmental Unit is the regular review and update of the ICS 232, a form that documents and prioritizes the Resources at Risk. Operations then use this prioritized list of environmental, economic and cultural sensitivities to build strategies and tactics to prevent damages. These proposed tactics are presented to the Unified Command for approval.

  • Focus Wildlife scheduled to conduct a shoreline assessment at the two Mooyah Bay GRS’s prior to making any recommendations on Geographic Response Strategy (GRS) removal. (2021-01-09)
  • EU liaison with Logistics to procure equipment required by Focus Wildlife to collect source samples. (2021-01-09)
  • New marine mammal survey: two sea otters were seen (Jan 8) and two humpback whales were spotted in the area (Jan 9) (2021-01-09)
  • Focus Wildlife sent in the preliminary Migratory Bird Impact Assessment update. Assessment done in the Spanish pilot group and bird activity was highest near Verdia and Vernaci Islands. More than 500 birds and 30 species have been observed. To date, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Surf Scoter, Glaucous Winged Gull, and Mew Gull account for more than 50% of all bird observations. (2021-01-08)
  • The sea otter was located in the same area with another otter in close proximity. No oil observed near the
  • (2021-01-8)
  • Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Team (SCAT) mobilization (Approximately 1 week to have SCAT on site) (2021-01-07)
  • While a sudden, large release of oil isn’t expected, working on the EU contingency plan. (2021-01-06)
  • Discussion continues on how to dispose of oiled and contaminated debris (2021-01-05)
  • Analysis ongoing to confirm if the oil contains PCB’s (2021-01-05)
  • Beaches in Yuquot are reported clean except for a drifter buoy found and 1 oiled log. (2021-01-04)
  • Focus Wildlife is on their way to Gold River today. Will be doing a migratory bird survey tomorrow starting closest to the shipwreck. (2021-01-04)
  • The Environmental Unit is working on a Window of Opportunity Report, compiling environmental sensitivity data for the next 6 to 8 months.
Wildlife Observations (accumulative from December 10, 2020)
Wildlife Species Verified Impacted Observed
Sea Otter 1 2 (2021-01-08)
Great Blue Heron   1
Harbour Seal   1 (Transiting through area. Likely minimal impact)
Stellar Sea Lion   1 (Transiting through area. Likely minimal impact)
Baleen Whale   2 Humpbacks (2021-01-09)


ASSIGNED RESOURCES:

Vessels:

  • ETV ATL EAGLE – On Water Branch Director
  • CCGS Moorhen (RHIB)
  • CGE 750 (PRV III)
  • CGE 668 (PRV III)
  • MCI Landing Craft “SeaTruck1” with Drone
  • DFO C&P Vessel “Rugged Point”
  • DFO Vessel “Marine Mammal Response”
  • WCMRC – Cortes Sentinel
  • WCMRC – Sentinel 32
  • WCMRC – Sentinel 33
  • SNRC Hydra Vessel (Strategic) with Drone (WCMRC Contracted)
  • “Rapid Warrior” Tug (CCG Contracted)
  • Grieg Seafood Contracted Vessel
  • Focus Wildlife “Focus 1”

Equipment:

  • Current Buster 2 (NOFI) – Anchored in “Helipad Bay”
  • Triton 20 Skimmer – on CGE 668
  • RO Boom: 3,300 ft
  • GP Boom: 200 ft
  • Total Boom Deployed to Field: 10,350 ft
    • GRS: 9,250 ft
    • Deflection: 700 ft
    • Decon Ponding 400 ft
    • Total Boom Disposed of: 3,650 ft