Incident: BLIGH ISLAND SHIPWRECK
Incident Start Date DECEMBER 3, 2020
Incident End Date Bulk Oil Removal operation completed June 29; demobilization in progress)
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 was 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.

In April 2021, a Technical Assessment was conducted by Resolve Marine and found two tanks containing heavy fuel oil, one tank with marine diesel oil, and one tank with mixed oil product on board the vessel.

On June 15th, Resolve Marine began the operation to remove bulk oil from the MV Schiedyk using a process called “hot tapping.” During the operation there was a small risk of a larger release of oil. This did not occur, however as expected, response crews did see a slightly higher amount of fuel on the water during the pumping operation. Response crews were able to skim off any recoverable product, shorelines and sensitive areas were protected by containment boom, and wildlife deterrents were in place, as well as on-water crews monitoring all aspects of the operation.

The four bulk fuel tanks were successfully pumped and flushed out, eliminating the risk of approximately 60 tonnes of HFO and marine diesel from reaching the marine environment. Boaters in the area may continue to see a small amount of non-recoverable fuel on the water in the area. This is due to tidal currents disturbing areas of the ship containing very small amounts of product, such as the engine room. This product will dissipate.

Response crews and the virtual Incident Command Post are demobilizing. Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) have been removed, equipment has been decontaminated, and crews are returning to their various bases. Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique (SCAT) teams are surveying the shoreline as part of the Environmental Unit’s post-Bulk Oil Removal Plan, and monitoring of the area will be ongoing when possible.

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 are using a combination of floating, sub-sea and aerial resources to meet incident objectives. 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 the upwelling of oil are challenges in-field operations.

  • All gear (except boom sticks) removed from field and loaded on the Beside the Point Barge. Will unload in Gold River tomorrow. (2021-07-05)
  • All general purpose and RO-boom has been removed from the field. Crews pulling remaining moorings today. (2021-07-05)
  • RO-boom continues to be deconstructed, 600m collected with 1000m remaining (2021-07-04)
  • WCMRC vessels released for demobilization (2021-07-04)
  • Heavy Metal Barge scheduled to offload remaining RO-boom July 6 (2021-07-04)
  • Miller 201 Barge is being unloaded and demobbing today (2021-07-02)
  • NASP overflight estimates 0.1L of product on the water. No further taskings at this time. (2021-07-01)
  • All Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) boom has been removed from the field (2021-07-01)
  • Crews working to remove remaining general purpose boom from wreck site by end of day (2021-07-01)
  • WCMRC crews pulled spar buoys, GRS boom, and general purpose boom from the wreck site. Began decontamination and disposal (2021-07-01)
  • Morning drone flight reported a quantification of 0.002L of product on the water (2021-06-30)
  • Atlantic Condor/Resolve Marine completed their 24 hour monitoring period and departed the wreck site at 1230 PDT (2021-06-29)
  • Pumping operations on all tanks have been completed (2021-06-28)
  • Resolve removing valves and placing caps on the drilling holes (2021-06-28)
  • Current Buster being decontaminated after recovery operations yesterday (2021-06-28)

 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.

  • Arranged for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be distributed to Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique (SCAT) personnel from the Environmental Unit. (2021-06-30)
  • Coordinated with Resolve, arrangements made to pick up their containers and sandbags at Gold River Staging (2021-06-30)
  • CCG’s Maritime and Civil Infrastructure (MCI) vehicle taken a load of demobilized equipment to Victoria Depot today (2021-06-29)
  • Personnel travel plans / transportation plans are in the planning phase for next week (2021-06-29)
  • Logistical arrangements being made for the demobilization of Miller 201 barge on Friday, July 2. Britco will pick up office container and Tymec bins (2021-06-29)
  • Arrangements for helicopter overflight Friday, July 2 have been made (2021-06-29)

 

OIL RECOVERED

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

 

SOURCE Amount
Surface Oil* Final cumulative amount recovered:

48,511.305 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.

  • Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique (SCAT) crews surveyed 8.7 km of shoreline today. Have completed 25km/37km. Continue to report “no oil observed” to “traces or very light oil.” (2021-07-06)
  • SCAT work is progressing with an anticipated completion of July 7 (2021-07-04)
  • SCAT crews arrived in Gold River, will begin operations July 2, 2021 (2021-07-01)
  • Focus Wildlife provided their final wildlife update and will begin demobbing (2021-07-01)
  • Preparing for Species at Risk (SARA) species dive survey starting on July 3 (2021-06-29)
  • Providing recommendations regarding the sequence of boom removal (2021-06-29)
  • Modelling frequency will be reduced to once daily and be issued each morning until the end of the week (2021-06-28)
  • DFO Marine Mammal Rescue and Focus Wildlife are preparing for demobilization (2021-06-28)
Wildlife Species Verified Impacted
(cumulative from December 10, 2020 to July 6, 2021)
Sea Otter 1
Common Murre 1
Common Merganser 1
Mew Gull 14
Glaucous-winged Gull 5
Surf Scoter 1