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.

Four 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 have 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
  • BC Wildfire Service
  • 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.

  • CCG and Barge crews decontaminated the High Speed Sweep (HSS) and redeployed at Helispot Bay. (2021-02-07)
  • CCG crews replacing curtain boom pins with bolts. (2021-02-07)
  • Completed work to close a gap on the northern 24” curtain boom at the wreck site. (2021-02-06)
  • Sampling completed. Contractors demobilizing, departing the area and dropping off at laboratory. (2021-02-06)
  • CCG Techs working on the Viking Buoy today. (2021-02-05)
  • Ops observing chaffing on the mooring lines at the containment area. This will require attention in the near future with the assistance of the Nelson Mac tug. (2021-02-04)
  • Ongoing containment boom and GRS checks performed today. (2021-02-04)
  • Staging barge has their high speed sweep system with chafing gear set to deploy in the water within 20 minutes. (2021-02-04)
  • No waste collected today. On water teams assisting the sampling crew. (2021-02-04)
  • Confirmed a NOTAM is not required for uncontrolled airspace – distribution and review of Drone SOPs to ensure maximum safety awareness throughout the AO. (2021-02-03)
  • Ewin Inlet Drifter Buoys were deployed. (2021-02-02)
  • The crew reported an airplane flying over the containment area, while drone was in the air. This was the second occurrence of this nature. Drone operator has a radio that can be used to communicate on 123.2 MHz however the range is limited. OSC/SOFR confirming NOTAM requirements and updating as required. (2021-02-02)
  • Boom stick has been re-secured. (2021-02-01)
  • 100’ of 24” curtain boom was replaced on the east side of the containment boom. (2021-02-01)
  • Bundle of logs removed from the shoreline at the wreck site by the Cadal Tug and relocated into Heli Spot Bay. (2021-02-01)
  • Field crews estimate that the incident is disposing approx. 250’ of 24” boom per week. (2021-02-01)
  • No new oily debris spotted at the Gore Island Fish Farm over the weekend. Crews will continue to monitor. (2021-02-01)
  • Ewin Inlet GRS boom removed. Boom has been brought to the staging barge. (2021-02-01)
  • East side of boom sticks broke free over the weekend. Old, worn chain that was securing them was the cause. Crews will reattach with 2” polyline. (2021-02-01)

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.

  • CCG Techs scheduled to arrive on site to work on the VHF repeater tomorrow, weather dependent. (2021-02-04)
  • Critter Cove Iridium satellite VPN now serviceable and wireless. (2021-02-01)
  • VHF repeater maintenance on-going. VHF Ch. 23 is still inoperable around incident site. (2021-02-01)
  • Staging barge communications are now working. (2021-02-01)

 

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.

  • No NASP over-flight today, CCG Heli Ops to Gold River and Repeater Site. (2021-02-05)
  • NASP scheduled to conduct a fly over. (2021-02-03)
  • NASP Tried to conduct an over-flight but due to weather was unable to make visual observations. (2021-02-02)
  • No NASP flights over the wreck site yesterday and today. (2021-02-02)

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 Little Bligh Island 250 76
  Total Deployed 4850 1472

 

OIL RECOVERED

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

SOURCE Amount
Surface Oil Cumulative to February 5:
20,054.381 kg (+1,133.981 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.

 

  • A sheen was reported near Greig Seafood, CCG investigated and determined it was organic in nature and not associated with MV Schiedyk. (2021-02-05)
  • Two Sea Lions were observed in the apex of the containment boom for a short while this afternoon. (2021-02-04)
  • Six Orca were observed moving in a northerly direction southwest of Resolution Cove. (2021-02-04)
  • Focus Wildlife performing wildlife assessments, circumnavigating Bligh Island. (2021-02-04)
  • Sampling Team sampling around Anderson Point. (2021-02-04)
  • Environmental Unit is planning for the upcoming herring spawn. (2021-02-04)
  • Five (5) gulls were observed to be oiled. Three (3) gulls were observed on 2021-02-01, one gull on 2021-02-02, and one gull on 2021-02-03. One gull had approximately 30% oiling; a second gull has 20% oiling. Focus Wildlife and Canadian Wildlife Service recommend capturing these two gulls for treatment. Capture and treatment are not recommended for the remaining three observed gulls at this time. All gulls were found near the Ro-boom. Focus Wildlife will be focusing current efforts on monitoring these gulls and other wildlife near the Ro-boom, as well as investigating deterrence strategies in this high-risk area. (2021-02-04)
  • The EU will start to activate the wildlife stabilization trailer to support treatment of oiled wildlife with Focus Wildlife. (2021-02-02).
  • Keystone Environmental, the sampling team, is now in Gold River. They will begin their sampling tomorrow and through the week. Also attending on water with the team will be a First Nation member. (2021-02-01)
  • Hydra vessel collected a 20L pail of product from the contamination area for testing as per request from the EU. (2021-02-01)
  • Focus Wildlife testing bird scare bangers south of Bligh Island over the weekend. (2021-02-01)
  • Deceased crow was examined by Focus Wildlife and it was determined that the crow was not oiled. No further action. (2021-02-01)

 

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)
Gulls 5 5

 

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
  • Keystone vessel

Equipment:

CCG:

Current Buster 2 (NOFI) – Anchored in “Helipad Bay”

Triton 20 Skimmer – on CGE 668

RoBoom: 3300’

GP Boom 1200’

 

WCRMC:

Boom Deployed to Field: 7,450’

  • GRS: 6450’
  • Deflection: 1000’
  • Total Boom Disposed of: 2000’