Kirby Offshore Marine paid 250,000 USD to Heiltsuk Nation in relation with the oil spill after sinking of the tug Nathan E Steward and fuel barge DBL 55 at Edge Reef in Seaforth Channel at Bella Bella Island, Canada. The tug was pushing a barge from Alaska to Vancouver, but due to severe weather and strong winds grounded into a rocky shallow on October 14, suffering damages and spilling undefined quantity of fuel into the Seaforth Channel. The tug is said to have been loaded with 59,924 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of the grounding, but 6,554 gallons were successfully removed before sinking.
Heiltsuk Nation warned on Friday, that spilled diesel oil has broken free of oil booms and barriers. Moreover, the fuel spill has already fouled clam beds within the channel. The weather is expected to worsen, which will spread the oily water over the reef and might reach the nearby reserve.
“From the air, it looks like the spill is completely free in the water”, says Heiltsuk Chief Marilyn Slett, who flew over the area yesterday. “Containment has been Heiltsuk priority from day one. Why weren’t seaworthy booms put in place immediately after the spill?”, added she.
The oil spill response team plans to dispatch more seaworthy booms, but it will take at least a day for delivery to Bella Bella and the gale warning will spread the film toward the whole reef. A critical boom broke completely open, leaving the last remaining barrier containing the spill vulnerable to high winds and swell. For a third day, bad weather has caused small boom maintenance boats to be called back for portions of the day.
The environmental disaster with the spilled fuel into the Seaforth Channel at Bella Bella Island in elarging and the money paid by Kirby Offshore Marine are in relation with the cleaning operations and providing of the more quality equipment.
More about the accident:
Kirby Maritime’s tug Nathan E Steward partially sank at Edge Reef in Canada [14/10]