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. 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.

  • Crews pulled the log boom mooring closest to shore, and the third one out yesterday. A new mooring for the seaward end of the log boom was deployed yesterday, and crews will move log boom into position today. (2021-04-12)
  • Barge going to Gold River to load anchors and line. (2021-04-12)
  • Crews continue to work on boom stick relocation (2021-04-11)
  • Crews conducted Triton 20 and Triton 60 skimmer training (2021-04-11)
  • All the layflat boom is staged at Mooyah Bay for rapid deployment of Mooyah Bay Geographic Response Strategies (GRS), Yuquot GRS, and Santa Gertrudis GRS (2021-04-11)
  • 450 ft. of CCG layflat boom sent to Mooyah Bay to stage for GRS’s (2021-04-10)
  • On-water operations halfway through moving the boom sticks (2021-04-10)
  • On-water booming operations are cancelled due to weather (2021-04-09)
  • No product collections today due to weather (2021-04-09)
  • Resolve Marine provided information on boom placement. Ro-boom can remain in place but with 300 ft of clearance. Northern curtain boom will be removed, and boom sticks will be moved north (2021-04-08)
  • CCG 668 moved layflat boom to Mooyah Bay from Gold River. (2021-04-08)
  • Marine service contractor conducted test lift on moorings for boom stick placement. (2021-04-08)
  • Working on the forward deployment of containment boom to predetermined sensitive areas (Mooyah, Santa Gertrudis, and Yuquot) in advance of higher risk work conducted during technical assessment phase. (2021-04-07)
  • Marine services contractor on scene and will work with Coast Guard containment branch director to facilitate moving of boom sticks and placement of additional Ro-Boom containment north of the wreck site. (2021-04-07)
  • Focus on preventative maintenance for vessels and Pollution Countermeasure Equipment (PCME) as required prior to technical assessment. (2021-04-07)

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.

  • 3950 ft. of CCG layflat boom arrived at Gold River Staging Area (2021-04-10)
  • Chain requisition has been approved by Unified Command and now goes to procurement (2021-04-09)
  • Mooring equipment 90% procured (2021-04-09)
  • Successfully procured poly lines, anchors, and hardware for anchoring systems. (2021-04-07)
  • Working with Coast Guard’s Environmental Response program to get 8000 ft layflat boom bundled and on palettes for transport. (2021-04-07)
  • Successfully found Tychem suits to ensure inventories are at level for the technical assessment. (2021-04-07)
  • Procuring requested chain and anchoring systems for new containment booms. (2021-04-06)
  • Genni Bay loading tonight around 1800 upon arrival into Gold River. (2021-04-06)
  • Crew change tomorrow with additional Barge staging Manager, and PRV crews heading up to Gold River. (2021-04-06)

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 12:
34,332.405kg

 

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.

  • Survey data from April 10th and 11th show that 100+ Surf Scoters have returned to Bligh Island area as herring spawns on other area of the coast near their end. As well, 200 Western Grebes were reported new Villaverde Islands. (2021-04-12)
  • Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Technique (SCAT) photo monitoring conducted today. Another round of photo monitoring will occur on April 15th (2021-04-10)
  • A lightly oiled Mew Gull was reported. It is not recommended for capture and treatment. (2021-04-10)
  • Focus Wildlife conducted survey of North side of Bligh while en route to spill site site and found some emulsified oil but it is not believed to be from this incident (2021-04-10)
  • Focus Wildlife returned to the site on April 9. Over the weekend they will coordinate with CCG and WCMRC on making static deterrence equipment operational in advance of the Technical Assessment. (2021-04-10)
  • Confirmed no sensitive or cultural concerns about boom stick anchor locations (2021-04-09)
  • Finalizing decontamination procedures (2021-04-09)
  • Focus Wildlife mobilized today and will be on site tomorrow. (2021-04-08)
  • Provided feedback to Unified Command on Spud Barge locations so as to not interfere with sensitive species and habitats. (2021-04-07)
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 13 16
Barrow’s Goldeneye   12
Glaucous-winged Gull 5 16
Gulls (mixed species)   350
Surf Scoters   100
Western Grebe   200
Cormorant   700
Bald Eagle   60
Wolf   2

 

ASSIGNED RESOURCES:

Vessels:

  • Atlantic Raven – On Water Branch Director
  • CCG 668 (PRV III)
  • CCG 735
  • CCG 750
  • CCG 777
  • DFO Marine Mammal Response RHIB
  • WCMRC barge 200
  • WCMRC Cortes Sentinel
  • SNRC Hydra Vessel (Strategic)
  • Tug “W. Pearce” and staging barge Miller 201 and Crane operator
  • Grieg Seafood Essington II and tug AG Ford
  • Tug Genni Bay and Barge Mack 8
  • Focus 1

Equipment:

CCG:

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

Triton 20 Skimmer – on CGE 668

High Speed Sweep System

RoBoom: 2800 ft

Curtain Boom: 3950 ft

Layflat Boom: 4000 ft

Breco Buoy

WCMRC:

Boom Deployed to Field: 6350 ft

  • GRS: 5350 ft
  • Deflection: 1000 ft
  • Total Boom Disposed of: 2000 ft

Staged boom for Technical Assessment

Gold River

  • 3,950 ft (received 2021-04-10)

On site (pre-packed at Mooyah Bay):

  • 4,050 ft