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. Initial assessments determining the rate of oil upwelling per hour have been revised with new estimates based on waste management metrics. Rate of oil upwelling is estimated at 3 -13 L per hour, depending on weather. Please note, this is not considered an increase in upwelling but rather a more accurate estimate.

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.
  • Ensure efficiency in marine operations.
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 750/668 removing debris from Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) and containment boom as well as conducting any repairs as necessary. Replacing boom lights as required and resolving issues with worn sections of boom chain on deflection boom. WCMRC conducting recovery operations (2021-02-15)
  • No on-water operations due to weather (snow, low visibility) (2021-02-14)
  • Containment and GRS inspected with no issues observed. Barge is loaded and back on-site (2021-02-13)
  • Crane certification completed. Holding tanks reconfigured. No on-water operations due to weather (snow, low visibility). Atlantic Raven takes over as On-Water Branch Director (2021-02-13)
  • Miller 201 transiting to Gold River for Crane Inspection and re-configuration (2021-02-12)
  • No recovery or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operations due to weather (2021-02-12)
  • Weather prohibited oil removal from containment boom. Further disruptions likely given snowfall warning over the next 72 hrs (2021-02-11)
  • CCG 668 doing drone ops and repairing worn boom chains. (2021-02-11)
  • North side curtain boom failure. Field reports minimal sheen at the damaged area. Most oil is 400m away in the center of the containment. Repairs conducted and boom holding. (2021-02-10)
  • CCG 668 conducting RPAS operations and assessing GRS boom connectors. CCG 750 conducting decontamination of WCMRC Boom and transporting to Gold River as necessary. Moorhen is on-site safety vessel. (2021-02-10)
  • CCG 668 conducting RPAS operations and continuing decontamination of boom on barge (2021-02-09)
  • 500′ of boom aboard the barge and starting decontamination process. (2021-02-08)

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.

  • Sourcing decontamination materials (2021-02-15)
  • Working on the procurement of Personal Protection Equipment for re-supply (2021-02-15)
  • Working on decontamination plan for barge and Gold River staging area. (2021-02-09)
  • Barge coming in to Gold River to conduct Transport Canada inspection tests on Friday. (2021-02-08)

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 CCG helicopter tasked today. VIH logging activity today (2 helicopters) and crew movement today (1 helicopter). Air Nootka daily flights (2015-02-15)
  • NASP flight cancelled due to weather (2021-02-14)
  • NASP Flew over the shipwreck site yesterday and observed no hydrocarbons outside of containment. (2021-02-13)
  • Some strong winds/gusts prevented the drone from flying yesterday. Today is forecasted to be worse but they’ll keep looking for a break in the weather to get the mapping done (2021-02-12)
  • No NASP flight today. (2021-02-09 to 2021-02-12)
  • NASP overflight yesterday at 1153h estimates 4.3L of product on water within containment. (2021-02-08)

 BOOM IN PLACE 

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 15:
22,310.88 kg (+1,133.98 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.

  • Shoreline surveys being conducted south of the wreck site with CCG 750 vessel and crew (2021-02-15)
  • Nothing significant to report. (2021-02-13 to 2021-02-14)
  • Large numbers of birds observed in and around boom (approx.. 350). Use of various deterrents are effective – no new oiled birds have been reported. (2021-02-12)
  • Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Team (SCAT) work recommencing the week of Feb 15th (weather/tide dependent). Bi-monthly updates being conducted by a team of three local First Nations representatives. (2021-02-10)
  • One additional lightly oiled Mew Gull was detected on February 9. Seven birds have been reported as oiled; two gulls have sufficient oiling to warrant capture (if feasible) and treatment. (2021-02-10)
  • Grieg Seafood reported an injured bird at the Muchalaht North Farm. Focus Wildlife collected the bird and after evaluation and recommendation, bird will be sent to MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre, located outside of Campbell River. Bird passed away in transit – cause of death not thought to be associated with the shipwreck. (2021-02-10)
  • A wolf was reported on the north side of Resolution Cove. Crews accessing shorelines are reminded to be aware of wildlife present in the area. (2021-02-10)
  • The Marine Mammal Response Team completed a marine mammal survey. Today a sea otter was seen inside the containment booms, however the sea otter was not observed in the sheen. The discharge was well contained within the containment boom. (2021-02-09)
  • Two additional oiled birds have been detected in the vicinity of the Ro-boom, including one mew gull and one common murre. At this time, two gulls have sufficient oiling to warrant capture (if feasible) and treat. (2021-02-08)
  • Focus Wildlife continues to conduct on-water assessments and is trialing deterrents near the Ro-boom, showing efficacy on both glaucous-winged gulls and Barrow’s goldeneye. (2021-02-08)
  • An aggregation of 700 glaucous-winged gulls was reported on the southwest side of Bligh Island on February 6. (2021-02-08)
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.

Harbour Seal   1
Stellar Sea Lion   1
Baleen Whale    

6 Humpbacks

 

Orca   10
Blue Heron   1
Crow   1 deceased on the water (confirmed not oiled 2021-01-30)
Gulls 7 7

 

ASSIGNED RESOURCES:

Vessels:

  • ETV ATL RAVEN – On Water Branch Director
  • CCGS Moorhen (RHIB)
  • CCG 750 (PRV III)
  • CCG 668 (PRV III)
  • DFO Vessel “Marine Mammal Response”
  • WCMRC – Cortes Sentinel
  • SNRC Hydra Vessel (Strategic)
  • Grieg Seafood Contracted Vessel and assist Tug “Nelson Mac”
  • Focus Wildlife “Focus 1”
  • Tug “W. Pearce” and staging barge Miller 201 and Crane operator

 Equipment:

CCG:

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

Triton 20 Skimmer – on CGE 668

RoBoom: 3300’

GP Boom 1200’

WCMRC:

Boom Deployed to Field: 7,450’

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