Haida Nation issues 5 p.m. update on Russian ship adrift off the coast of Haida Gwaii

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      In the early hours of October 17, a Russian cargo ship lost power and began drifting toward B.C.'s coast.

      The vessel is carrying  500 metric tonnes of bunker fuel and 60 tonnes of diesel. At the time of writing, it remained without power and continued to slowly move in the direction of land.

      At 5 p.m., the Haida Nation released an update on the situation. The unedited text of that statement appears below.

      The 50-metre offshore Coast Guard patrol vessel the Gordon Reid has reached the  drifting 135-metre bulk carrier Shimusir on the west coast of Haida Gwaii but is  having trouble getting a line on the vessel.

      Earlier this afternoon the vessel was drifting away from shore but as of 5:00 pm  tonight it is now headed back towards the coast. Heavy weather from the west is  expected later tonight, which will again push the ship toward shore.

      “Their has been a slight reprieve from this mornings news,” said kil tlaats ’gaa.  “But the ship is still not under control and with the weather that is forecast for this  evening the situation is still critical. The Haida nation’s emergency response team  is doing everything possible to keep this vessel off the shore and is engaged with all  levels of the Canadian government.”

      The tugboat Barbara Foss sailing from Prince Rupert is enroute along with the  83-metre Coast Guard vessel Sir Wilfred Lauier. Both vessels are expected to arrive  on-site at 1 am tonight.

      The west coast of Haida Gwaii is remote, difficult to access especially in poor  weather and home to a high density of nesting seabirds, peregrine falcons and has  every type of whale transiting the waters.





      Oct 17, 2014 at 10:37pm

      Is this a test for the proposed marine route of Northern gateway's bitumen tankers??

      Logan Toynbee

      Oct 18, 2014 at 8:24am

      Has there been any update on this? Did the tug make contact with the vessel at 1am as expected? This has piqued interest and enquiring minds want to know.


      Oct 18, 2014 at 10:29am

      You might want to update your update. The Canadian Coast Guard did their job effectively and professionally and is towing a crippled freighter.

      So in other words..... The system worked.

      Pete T

      Oct 18, 2014 at 9:27pm

      What exactly is the "Haida nation's emergency response team"?