Sidney, B.C. – The emergency response operation in Trincomali Channel is ongoing. The channel is located between Galiano Island and Salt Spring Island in British Columbia’s South Coast region. A Unified Command has been established and includes representatives from Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), BC Ferries, Capital Regional District and B.C. Ministry of Environment. The lead federal agency is the CCG.
The BC Ferries vessel M/V Coastal Renaissance left Swartz Bay on October 25, 2017. The vessel experienced a fire on-board on the car deck and anchored in the Trincomali Channel to facilitate evacuation of the vessel. There were 1,385 passengers on board and 41 crew members. The vessel is 525 ft. and was carrying 418,000 litres of diesel and 24,000 litres of lube oil and cars.
The fire was extinguished at 2200 on October 25 and the vessel remains at anchor in Trincomali Channel. It is estimated that approximately 1,000 litres of diesel and 1,000 litres of gasoline have spilled into the channel.
Search and Rescue operations have been completed and the environmental response is ongoing. Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) has been activated and is responding on-site. Currently, 14 vessels have been deployed by CCG and WCMRC. CCG boomed and contained the vessel, and will commence skimming operations shortly. WCMRC is monitoring the Channel and skimming released product. A CCG helicopter is conducting overflights to monitor the shoreline impact and is guiding skimming operations. A NASP overflight is being conducted.
Safety is the primary concern for both first responders and the public. Security and safety plans are continually being developed and implemented. The public is requested to avoid contact with water in and around Trincomali Channel, Galiano Island and Salt Spring Island. If the public detects fumes they are recommended to avoid the area and report the odour to the 24-hour public call-in line listed below. Members of the public with a medical emergency are requested to contact 9-1-1 to arrange transport.
Impact on wildlife is currently being assessed. The public is advised to avoid contact with impacted wildlife but are encouraged to report any impacted wildlife sightings to the 24-hour call-in line.
A waste management plan is being developed.
An emergency safety zone has been established half a nautical mile around the vessel in Trincomali Channel. Two Coast Guard vessels are monitoring the safety zone. During this time, movement in this area is limited to urgent care issues only. The public is requested to avoid contact with water in and around Trincomali Channel, Galiano Island and Salt Spring Island. Contact BC Ferries to enquire about schedule changes and cancellation. Impacted local business owners, boat and other property owners are encouraged to call the 24-hour call-in line with concerns.
Unified Command appreciates the public’s offers of assistance in cleanup activities. However, at this time, the response is fully staffed by trained professional crews. Members of the public with professional marine biology or wildlife management experience are encouraged to contact the 24-hour public call-in line.
Unified Command members continue to coordinate all aspects of the response.
Under Canada’s Marine Pollution Preparedness and Response Regime, managed by Transport Canada, the polluter is responsible for paying the cost of an oil spill cleanup, including third-party damages.
A media briefing will be scheduled for 1500 on October 25, 2017. A media advisory with more details will follow.
Canadian Coast Guard Marine Pollution Reporting
A 24-hour public information call-in line has been set-up at 1-877-323-3985.