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 ft 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 (100 –120 m) of water. M/V Schiedyk was carrying approximately 1000 tons of grain and pulp when it grounded.

Fuel 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. Oil sampling test results indicate oil is similar to historical Bunker “C” type — upwelling is estimated at 1–4 L per hour.

 

 

Daily preventative actions are being taken to contain the immediate threats and prevent long-term damage to the environment.

The incident public website is updated regularly.

CCG has on going scheduled Transport Canada National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) over flights 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.

Seven Geographic Response Strategy (GRS) booms have been implemented across ecologically sensitive areas.

DFO Marine Mammal Rescue and Focus Wildlife are on site and have been monitoring and assessing wildlife around Nootka Sound. Impacts to wildlife has been minimal to date.

Two Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Teams (SCAT) were deployed and have surveyed 100km of shoreline near the wreck site.

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
  • Grieg Seafood

 

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.

  • Assessment of the boom sticks found that the chain securing them is old and worn, which was the cause of them breaking. Tomorrow, weather permitting, crews will reattach the boom sticks using 2″ polyline. Further reinforcement will be required for the long term. (2021-01-30)
  • East side of log sticks north of the containment boom broke free. (2021-01-30)
  • 100′ of 24″ curtain boom was replaced on the east side of containment boom. (2021-01-30)
  • No new oily debris seen at Southwest Gore Island Fish Farm. Small upwelling seen last week; crews saw a very small amount coming to the surface. It is believed to be coming off the oiled debris in the area when agitated in the current. Crews will continue to assess the fish farm and surrounding area. (2021-01-30)
  • 24” boom that forms the closure at the north end of the containment appears to be under heavy strain. Considerations for using Ro-Boom there. (2021-01-29)
  • Crews performing survey and general boom maintenance at wreck site. (2021-01-28)
  • Atlantic Eagle back on scene as On Water Branch Director (OWBD). (2021-01-28)
  • On water crews clearing all the remaining oiled debris from the containment area today. (2021-01-27)
  • On water crews observed a “mystery” sheen opposite side of Zuciarte Channel, across from the wreck site on Sunday. No known source. Crews continue to investigate. (2021-01-25)

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.

  • COVID Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and PPE such as Hi Vis vests will be leaving from Victoria on Monday, PFDs should arrive on Wednesday and rain gear on Thursday. (2021-01-29)
  • Waterproof masks have been sourced for use on a trial basis of 50 per type. (2021-01-29)
  • CCG Electronics and Informatics crew at incident site today to look at staging barge communications equipment. (2021-01-29)
  • Shipment of decontamination kits and Tyvek suits arrived at the staging barge. (2021-01-29)
  • Tidal Marine says Spar Buoys expected delivery is Feb 12. (2021-01-28)
  • Lumastrobe lights expected to arrive at Critter Cove tomorrow. (2021-01-26)

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.

  • Yesterday’s NASP overflight estimated 3.3L of fuel on water. (2021-01-29)
  • No NASP overflight today. (2021-01-28 to 2021-01-25)
  • NASP overflight on Saturday reported an estimated 2.9L of fuel on surface. (2021-01-25)

BOOM IN PLACE

  • Ewin Inlet Geographic Response Strategy (GRS) boom removed. 500ft of boom will go back into inventory and be secured alongside staging barge. (2021-01-30)
  • Santa Gertrudis GRS boom removed. Boom brought to staging barge and inventoried. (2021-01-27)

 

Coordinates GRS Location Length of Boom (feet) Length of Boom (metres)
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°38.15’N, 126°30.56’W Upwelling Site Deflection 1000 305
Total Deployed 5850 1777


OIL RECOVERED

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

SOURCE Amount
Surface Oil Cumulative to January 30:
17,645 kg (+906 kg) 

Note: a crane operated from the staging barge is providing measurements of oil and oily debris recovered by weight. Number of bags/super sacks will no longer be used.


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 testing bird scare bangers at the south end of Bligh Island. (2021-01-30)
  • Deceased crow was collected on Saturday and an external examination was completed. It was determined that the crow was not oiled. (2021-01-30)
  • This weekend crews in the containment boom will collect product sample which will be sent for further analysis. (2020-01-29)
  • Drifter Marker Buoys (DMB) will be deployed at the beginning of Ewin Inlet to provide better understanding of hydrodynamics of the inlet. (2021-01-29)
  • Sampling team will be mobilizing to Moutcha Bay Resort on Sunday to be on water Feb. 1 (2021-01-29)
  • Humpback Whales again spotted near Discover Pt. yesterday afternoon. (2021-01-29)
  • Deceased crow was located near the fish pen on the west side of Gore Island. The body was collected and brought to the staging barge. Focus 1 is not on water today but they will collect it at a later date. (2021-01-27)
  • DFO Marine Mammal observed Humpback Whales northwest of Bligh Island. (2021-01-25)
  • Focus Wildlife completed the Migratory Bird Impact Assessment on January 24. (2021-01-25)
  • On January 22, EU received a report of a potentially oiled bird. Focus Wildlife was able to review the sighting within a couple of hours of receiving the report, including photo identification of the individual. It was determined to be a healthy female surf scoter. No oiled wildlife were observed over the course of the impact assessment. (2021-01-25)
  • Surveys in recent days have been focused on remaining sections of Muchalat Inlet, Kendrick Inlet, and Zuciarte Channel. (2021-01-25)
  • Barrow’s goldeneye and surf scoter continue to be the most commonly observed species, as well as some sizeable groups of gulls and mallards. (2021-01-25)
  • Across the entire impact assessment period (January 6 to 24), 7,694 birds of 41 species have been detected; averaging 480 birds and 19 species per day. (2021-01-25)

 

Wildlife Observations (accumulative from December 10, 2020)
Wildlife Species Verified Impacted Observed
Sea Otter 1 1 in the immediate area (2021-01-13).

92 in the larger area.

Great Blue Heron   1
Harbour Seal   1
Stellar Sea Lion   1
Baleen Whale   6 Humpbacks

 

Orca   10
Crow   1 deceased on the water (confirmed not oiled 2021-01-30)

 

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 Vessel “Marine Mammal Response”
  • WCMRC – Cortes Sentinel
  • SNRC Hydra Vessel (Strategic) with Drone (WCMRC Contracted)
  • “Rapid Warrior” Tug (CCG Contracted)
  • Grieg Seafood Contracted Vessel and assist Tug “Nelson Mac”
  • Focus Wildlife “Focus 1”
  • Tug “Cadal” and staging barge Miller 201 (awaiting TC certification) and Crane operator

Equipment:

  • Current Buster 2 (NOFI) – Anchored in “Helipad Bay”
  • Triton 20 Skimmer – on CGE 668
  • RO Boom: 3300ft
  • GP Boom: 1200ft
  • Total Boom Deployed to Field: 6,900ft
    • GRS: 5900ft
    • Deflection: 1000ft
    • Total Boom Disposed of: 2000ft