Sunday, November 26, 2017

Heiltsuk First Nation monitoring vessel in distress situation off Bella Bella

The Heiltsuk First Nation is reporting that the US flagged Tug and Barge
Jake Shearer is in distress off of Bella Bella

An American owned articulated pusher tug and barge is reportedly in distress in waters off of Bella Bella, details of the marine incident were posted in a notice from Marilyn Slett the Chief Councillor of the Heiltsuk Tribal Council on Sunday evening, who outlined the situation through Social media on twitter and Facebook

The vessel Jake Shearer which is operated by the Seattle office of Harley Marine is reported to have lost power and dropped the barges' anchor 2 nautical miles south of Goose Island.

An American operated tug and barge has dropped
anchor near Bella Bella after the vessel lost power
(the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Gordon Reid (left of vessel indicated above
has also arrived at the site to assess the situation)

While not confirmed, it is believed by the Heiltsuk that the barge is carrying a full load of oil products. (update -- later confirmed by authorities see below)

Information from the Vessel tracking website Marine Traffic notes that the barge was to travel along the coast of British Columbia on its way to Skagway, Alaska

The full information release from the Heiltsuk Tribal Council can be reviewed below:

There is no indication as of yet from the Canadian Coast Guard as to what efforts are underway to secure the vessel, one Coast Guard ship the Gordon Reid has arrived on station to assess the situation and lend assistance.

The Heiltsuk Council is in contact with the Prince Rupert Coast Guard to monitor the situation, however, no further information on the response has been outlined to this point.

Update: from Canadian Coast guard as of 9:26 PM

As of 10:20 PM the Canadian Coast Guard had advised that they had taken incident command of the Jake Shearer incident off of Bella Bella

Province of British Columbia has also issued an incident update related to vessel incident near Bella Bella.

From that incident update from the province's spill response office, more details are released related to the load aboard the barge.

The barge was northbound on its way to Alaska with a full load and is reported to be carrying approximately 3.5 million L of diesel and 500,000 L of gasoline. There are no indications of a release at this time.

Western Canadian Marine Response to send five response vessels from Prince Rupert to incident site,  with one from Vancouver to station at Port Hardy should it be required.

From the Provincial Government:

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) has been activated by the owner of the Jake Shearer. WCMRC is deploying vessels to be staged near the incident site as a precautionary measure at this time.

Midnight Updates from BC spill Response and CCG, with the latter advising that a rescue tug is enroute to the incident scene, no timeline for arrival, Coast Guard teams working to ensure barge remains in place.

9 AM update from BC Spill Response noted the following:

A rescue tug, the Gulf Cajun, is currently at the incident site attempting to attach tow lines to the Jake Shearer's disconnected fuel barge. An emergency tow line has been established, however, the fuel barge anchor remains in place. 

 Harley Marine Services Inc., owner of the Jake Shearer, has sent an additional tug north to assist. The two crew members from the Jake Shearer tug remain on board the tug's disconnected fuel barge as they are required for the tow line hook up and anchor recovery. They are safe and have shelter, food and necessary survival equipment.

Canadian Coast Guard notes on the current situation:

1:00 PM update from the Canadian Coast Guard had the barge under tow to position the barge in protected waters, assess condition and await another pusher tug.

The Marine Forecast for the area near Bella Bella has seen a Storm warning issued by Environment Canada, with conditions to increase in severity through Monday.

As the situation evolves, we'll offer up any updates that are provided as further notes become available.

December 1 -- Inspection of vessel repairs and possible transit approval ahead; as Marine Barge awaits approval to resume journey to Alaska

November 28 -- Jennifer Rice, Nathan Cullen weigh in on Jake Shearer and barge situation off Bella Bella
November 28 -- Tug Jake Shearer and barge take shelter, to be anchored for short term before next moves explored

News coverage of incident.

November 27, 2017

B. C. Indigenous leader calls for better marine emergency response after barge goes adrift
Stranded barge safe and under tow heading north from Bella Bella
Fuel-laden barge now being towed after it was adrift off B.C.'s central coast
Stranded fuel barge near Bella Bella now safely under tow
Rescue tug pulls away stranded fuel barge near Bella Bella
Jake Shearer barge recovered from B.C. waters with coast guard reporting no environment damage
Loose fuel barge near Bella Bella being towed south
Rescue tow has reached fuel barge in distress off B.C. coast near Bella Bella
Rescue vessels race to waters near Bella Bella as fuel barge breaks free from tug

November 26 2017

Coast Guard takes command of stranded fuel barge incident near Bella Bella
Efforts continue to rescue fuel barge southwest of Bella Bella
Tug and fuel barge in distress off Central Coast
Fuel laden barge stranded near Bella Bella
Canadian Coast Guard on scene as fuel-loaded barge splits away from tug in Queen Charlotte Sound
Barge carrying fuel in distress off B.C. coast near Bella Bella
Fuel barge 'emergency' off B.C coast renews concerns
Fuel barge breaks free from tug south of Bella Bella in gale force winds


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