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.