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, Coast Guard 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. Unified Command consists of Canadian Coast Guard, Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, and BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategies.

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 were 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.

CCG has reissued the Transport Canada National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) flight tasking of the area. Upwelling is being monitored via on-water assets and Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

Resolve Marine, the company who completed the Technical Assessment (TA) at the wreck site, arrived in Nootka Sound on April 18, 2021 on the vessel, Atlantic Condor. Hull was scrubbed, hull thickness was measured, and a patch was put in place over a 11 m gash on the starboard side. The Technical Assessment operation was completed on May 4th.

 

The Technical Assessment found two tanks containing heavy fuel oil, one tank with marine diesel oil, and one tank with mixed oil product on board the vessel. The amount of fuel is estimated to be approximately 147 cubic metres based on the total volume of the tanks, however that amount may be less if the internal tank walls have been compressed.

Resolve Marine Group will use a process called “hot tapping” to reduce the volume of fuel in the tanks. This process involves drilling a hole in the fuel tank from the outside, attaching a valve, and pumping the fuel out of the tank through a hose attached to the valve. Given the nature of the operation, there is a small risk of a larger release of oil. CCG and partners are prepared to address this should it arise, and will continue to be on-site and ready to respond if necessary.

Preparations for the bulk oil removal operation are underway at Bligh Island. Crews and additional equipment are in place.

Resolve Marine Group and the Atlantic Condor will arrive on-site and begin bulk oil removal in mid-June.

Daily preventative actions are being taken to contain the immediate threats and prevent long-term impacts to the environment. Large amounts of off-shore boom have been placed to assist with heavy fuel oil containment. South of the wreck site, deflection booming has been set up. Ten Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) are currently 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.

  • Morning drone flight quantification saw 14 litres of product on the water within the containment area. Reported as upwelling at different locations, rainbow sheen in various places and dissipating into a silver sheen. Nothing noted north of the main containment. (2021-06-14)
  • Snares will be deployed to catch product along the RoBoom near where the Atlantic Condor’s positon will be, the southern RoBoom and the northern RoBoom. (2021-06-14)
  • Yesterday, 24” curtain boom was added at the wreck site from the northern and southern RoBoom to the E1 and E2 buoys. A3 mooring was removed and the RoBoom was attached to the A2 mooring using the A3 mooring line. (2021-06-14)
  • Yesterday’s drone flight quantification saw 1.45 liters of product on the water in the morning and 10.5 liters in the afternoon. (2021-06-14)
  • E1 mooring has been moved to new location, which is 1200’ off anchor B1 of the northern RoBoom. (2021-06-13)
  • Yesterday’s drone quantification flights showed 5.6 liters of product in the containment area in the morning and 7.4 liters of product in the containment area in the afternoon. (2021-06-13)
  • Crews came across some issues with the repositioning of the northern RoBoom/boomsticks yesterday. Three chambers of the RoBoom were popped and were repaired. The RoBoom and boomsticks have been successfully repositioned. (2021-06-12)
  • Crews will continue to prepare the site for full pollution counter measure equipment reconfiguration. The high flotation boom and RoBoom from the containment boom will be repositioned on June 14. (2021-06-12)
  • Arrangements are being made for the “Inlet Challenger” and “Beside the Point” to transit to Gold River sometime next week to load additional waste bins and empty RoBoom containers on board. (2021-06-12)
  • Cortes Sentinel arrived at the Staging Area last night and Hydra is expected today. (2021-06-10)
  • WCMRC trailer of 5,000 ft high flotation boom arrived at Staging yesterday. (2021-06-10)
  • Quantification from today’s drone flight shows 9.6 liters of product on the water, reported as upwelling at different locations with rainbow and silver sheen. (2021-06-10)
  • Assessment of the northern RoBoom/boom stick moorings at B1 has been completed. Crews are sourcing materials to resolve this and will begin work on it first thing on June 11. (2021-06-10)
  • CG 735 is in Gold River and will remain there to transport 600 ft of polyline out to the incident site. (2021-06-10)
  • No drone flight today due to technical issues, expected to be resolved for tomorrow. (2021-06-09)
  • Atlantic Eagle took over Safety Vessel duties while Moorhen transits to Gold River for crew change. (2021-06-09)
  • An additional Spar buoy was deployed at West Cheesish Geographic Response Strategies. (2021-06-09)
  • Sentinel 31 conducting debris removal from Ewin Inlet. (2021-06-09)
  • Not enough product in the containment pocket to trial the T20 skimmer today. Tomorrow will be the last day to attempt this. (2021-06-09)
  • Very little product in the pocket of the containment area again today, not enough to trial T20 skimmer. (2021-06-08)
  • GRS checks were completed. (2021-06-08)
  • CCG 5 tonne crane truck departed Campbell River and will arrive at Gold River Staging Area shortly. (2021-06-08)

 

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.

  • Tymec bin swap out on Miller 201 Barge took place over the weekend. Miller 201 Barge has 6 empty bins. (2021-06-13)
  • Critter Cove telephone and Environmental Response satellite phone have been tested. It is confirmed both work. (2021-06-11)
  • Travel arrangements for unwell crew member in the field have been made. Crew member has departed from the field and has arrived home safely. (2021-06-10)
  • Confirmed with WCMRC that boom trailer has arrived at Gold River Staging. (2021-06-10)
  • Discussion on swapping out of Tymec bins. Barge coming into Gold River possibly end of the week. (2021-06-10)
  • CCG Helo wreck site overflight is scheduled for tomorrow. Safety Officer to deliver more COVID rapid tests. (2021-06-09)
  • Satellite phone sent into field today for testing. (2021-06-09)
  • Satellite phone at Staging Area tested and confirmed it works. (2021-06-08)

 

BOOM IN PLACE

Location Length of Boom (meters)
Bligh Island Gap GRS 76
Shoreline deflection 300
Containment North 1445
Southern containment boom 800
Northern deflection Ro-Boom 549
Shoreline protection boom 689
Anderson Point 137
Cheesish Reserve/Tuta Marina GRS 290
Cheesish Reserve NW Bay GRS 801
Cheesish Reserve SE Bay GRS 305

 

OIL RECOVERED

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

 

SOURCE Amount
Surface Oil* Cumulative to June 10:

 

41,182 kg

 

 

Environmental Unit (EU): UPDATES

 

Summary: All measures taken by the Unified Command 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.

 

  • Confirmed that bulk oil samples will be collected from Atlantic Condor by CCG or Resolve. (2021-06-13)
  • Triox Inc., ECCC, MMFN and the Province are ready in case of a significant release during the bulk oil removal. (2021-06-13)
  • Scheduling a sampling meeting. (2021-06-11)
  • Resources at Risk document updated. (2021-06-10)
  • Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Technique (SCAT) statement of work finalized. Looking to secure contractor to complete the work. (2021-06-09)
  • Official trajectory modeling request sent with a request for June 15. (2021-06-09)
  • Bulk Oil Sampling Procedures submitted to Unified Command. (2021-06-08)
  • For post bulk oil removal, a SCAT statement of work has been submitted to Unified Command for review. (2021-06-08)

 

Wildlife Species Verified Impacted
(cumulative from December 10, 2020)
Sea Otter 1
Common Murre 1
Common Merganser 1
Mew Gull 19
Glaucous-winged Gull 5

ASSIGNED RESOURCES:

Vessels:

  • Atlantic Eagle – On Water Branch Director
  • Moorhen
  • CCG 668
  • CCGER 735
  • CCGER 750
  • WCMRC Sentinel 31 & Sentinel 32
  • Tug “W. Pearce” and staging barge Miller 201
  • Tug Island Challenger and Heavy Metal barge
  • Focus 1

 

 

Current Navigational Warnings (NAVWARNS) and Fisheries Advisories:

 

 

Fisheries notice: Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Fishery Notices (dfo-mpo.gc.ca)