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 between 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 BC 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 approximately 1 – 4 L per hour, with an occasional increase to approximately 11 – 13 L per hour due to weather conditions.

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 cancelled the Transport Canada National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) flight tasking of the area. Overflights will be scheduled on an as-needed basis going forward. Upwelling is being monitored via Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). Drone operations continue.

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

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

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
  • 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.

  • Atlantic Raven loading 1000m of RoBoom today. (2021-04-05)
  • Crews will be conducting High Speed Sweep operations today utilizing drone to guide them to “oil” (floats). (2021-04-05)
  • CGER 735 suffered damage to starboard propeller while securing vessel at Critter Cove. No personnel reported injured. (2021-04-04)
  • Approximate locations of additional north and south RoBoom identified to be implemented in addition to current containment. (2021-04-04)
  • VHF communications have been problematic. Vessels in area will be operating on back-up simple channel 82A until further radio checks can be conducted. (2021-04-03)
  • Helicopter flight for Site Familiarization with Captain of Atlantic Condor completed. (2021-04-02)
  • CCGE668 was replacing a generator from the barge today. (2021-04-01)
  • CG777 brought in technicians to Critter Cove to install satellite communications. (2021-04-01)
  • CCGE735 was waiting for helicopter but stood down after flight was cancelled. Consequently, the captain of the Atlantic Condor was not able to have a site familiarization. (2021-04-01)
  • Hydra checked the pocket. (2021-04-01)
  • WCMRC Sentinel 33 deployed 400’ of 24” deflection boom to test. (2021-04-01)
  • On water product recovery today. (2021-03-30)
  • CCG ER 750 is going to Gold River and CCG ER 735 is coming to site. (2021-03-30)

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.

  • Heiltsuk Horizon tug Genni Bay arriving tomorrow afternoon to load crane. (2021-04-05)
  • Procuring additional PPE for the technical assessment. (2021-04-05)
  • Requested to procure additional anchors and tackle for additional containment boom. (2021-04-05)
  • New services contract tug and barge for technical assessment is Tug Genni Bay. (2021-04-03)
  • The services contract is in place, and the tug and barge are enroute to Gold River. (2021-04-02)
  • Miller 201 and Wainwright will be alongside Gold River Monday and Tuesday for crew change and Hazardous Waste Bin swap out. (2021-04-02)
  • Ensuring enough PPE is available for crew during technical assessment. (2021-04-01)
  • CCG helicopter flight was cancelled. (2021-04-01)
  • CCG IT technicians are installing new satellite communications system at Critter Cove. (2021-04-01)
  • Working on getting technicians to site to repair repeater on April 1. (2021-03-30)

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 2450 747
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 550 168
49°38.57’N, 126°28.70’W Anderson Point 400 122
Total Deployed 5350 1632

 

OIL RECOVERED

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

SOURCE Amount
Surface Oil* Cumulative to April 4:
34,241.805 kg

 

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 total of 5,073 birds of 30 species were observed between March 3 and 13 by Focus Wildlife. Increases in the number of Horned Grebes and Western Grebes (both SARA Special Concern) were observed; fewer Marbled Murrelets (SARA Threatened) were recorded, but is influenced by fewer days of field observations. (2021-03-30)
  • There has been a decrease in the number of seaducks and diving ducks present in the area, with large increases of bald eagles, gulls and cormorants. (2021-03-30)
  • Mapped observations show areas near Yuquot extending west towards Bajo Reef were highly active in mid-March, consistent with herring activity observed along this section of coastline. (2021-03-30)
Wildlife Observations (cumulative from December 10, 2020)
Wildlife Species Verified Impacted Observed in the area near the spill site
Sea Otter 1 95
Harbour Seal   1
Stellar Sea Lion   1
Baleen Whale   6 Humpbacks
Orca   10
Grey whale   4
Blue Heron   1
Common Murrelet 1  
Marbled Murrelet   4
Mew Gull 12 16
Barrow’s Goldeneye   12
Glaucous-winged Gull 5 16
Gulls (mixed species)   350
Cormorant   700
Bald Eagle   60
Wolf   2

 

ASSIGNED RESOURCES:

Vessels:

  • Atlantic Raven – On Water Branch Director
  • CCG 668 (PRV III)
  • CCG 735
  • CCG 777
  • WCMRC – Sentinel 33
  • WCMRC barge 200
  • SNRC Hydra Vessel (Strategic)
  • Tug “W. Pearce” and staging barge Miller 201 and Crane operator
  • Sand Buoy Chief

Equipment:

CCG:

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

Triton 20 Skimmer – on CGE 668

High Speed Sweep System

RoBoom: 2,800 ft

Curtain Boom: 3,950 ft

Layflat Boom: 4,000 ft

Breco Buoy

WCMRC:

Boom Deployed to Field: 6,350 ft

  • GRS: 5,350 ft
  • Deflection: 1,000 ft
  • Total Boom Disposed of: 2,000 ft