A technical assessment is the next major step in addressing the oil leaking from the MV Schiedyk. A contract for the assessment has been awarded, and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation and the Environmental Unit have identified a window of opportunity in April and May as the best time for the assessment to proceed, with reduced potential impacts to the environment around Zuciarte Channel.
The objectives of the technical assessment work are to:
- Locate the leaks coming from the hull and apply temporary seals to prevent or reduce the on-going release of oil, wherever possible.
- Survey the ship to identify the location of the fuel tanks – when the ship was converted from steam to diesel, it appears the tanks may have been moved from the locations shown in the original plans. The survey work will also include measuring the thickness of the hull; confirming the depth and position of the ship; and identifying any structural damage, particularly in relation to the fuel tanks.
- Confirm the existence of oil in the various tanks and compartments of the ship, map the locations, and identify any obstacles to oil removal.
The technical assessment will provide Unified Command to gain a more fulsome picture of the MV Schiedyk’s condition and the risk to the environment. The information will inform next steps, including recommendations around oil removal.
During the technical assessment there is a small risk of disturbing the ship and causing a larger release of oil. Unified Command is prepared for this, and spill response crews will be on the water, monitoring and ready to respond if necessary.