Tug breaks from dock, spills fuel off British Columbia

(HAIDA GWAII, British Columbia) — In high winds, the tugboat Tsekoa broke loose from the Daajing Giids dock and landed on the mudflats north of Robertson Island on Tuesday. Fuel was contained inside a boom, according to the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN).

CHN staff, the Canadian Coast Guard and Haida Gwaii Marine Environmental and Hazard Response (MEHR) staff were onsite throughout a full tide cycle and observed no further oil sheening as the tide came up.

CHN and MEHR staff observed diesel sheening stranded in the upper intertidal zone on the surface. This was monitored throughout the next tide cycles to confirm that biodegradation of the sheening occurs.

The Council of the Haida Nation and the Canadian Coast Guard established a unified command in Skidegate and are working with contractors on plans to remove the vessel from the marine environment as soon as is safely possible.

Canadian Coast Guard graphic

Unified command acknowledges this is a highly sensitive area with ecological and cultural values, including a salmon-bearing creek. Response teams are working closely together to mitigate any further impact to the area.

Public safety remains the highest priority. Unified command is requesting the public to stay off of the beach while response and recovery efforts continue. Flagging has been placed around the area for public safety.

– Council of the Haida Nation

Canadian Coast Guard post Thursday on Facebook:

“We’re on scene with our partners the Council of (the Haida Nation), and the village of Daajiing Giids attending to a grounded tugboat near Robertson Island, Haida Gwaii. Please stay off the beach while response and recovery efforts are underway. We have successfully removed accessible pollutants from the vessel and continue to work toward removing it.”

By Professional Mariner Staff