Canadian Coast Guard towing oil-laden Russian cargo ship away from Haida Gwaii

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      The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Gordon Reid has managed to reach a disabled Russian ship and is towing it west away from Haida Gwaii.

      The Simushir lost power and there were fears yesterday that it would run aground in the ecologically sensitive archipelago off B.C.'s north coast.

      The Haida Nation has stated that the Russian boat is carrying 500 metric tonnes of heavy oil. It also has 60 metric tonnes of diesel.

      If there's a spill, the heavy bunker oil could form tarballs that might kill scores of birds and marine mammals in the area.

      According to a Toronto Star report, another Canadian Coast Guard boat and an American Coast Guard cutter are on their way to the area.



      C Brown

      Oct 18, 2014 at 12:40pm

      Lol the ship’s fuel tank gauge probably is broken and they were running on empty. ‘Tis magic ‘shroom season on the coast hence all the paranoid hallucinations and yawns.


      Oct 18, 2014 at 2:17pm

      as of 2 p.m. the CBC is saying the Coast Guard's towing attempt has stalled after considerable success. The proper tug is still en route, with the cargo ship adrift some 25 nautical miles offshore of Haida Gwaii.


      Oct 18, 2014 at 3:17pm

      what is Russia cargo ship doing there ?! USA selling oil to Russia ?


      Oct 18, 2014 at 8:59pm

      I thought the Haida were independent now. What are they doing, yelling for help from Canada? They should have towed the thing away with one of their war canoes!

      Don't set your hair

      Oct 19, 2014 at 3:54pm

      on fire quite yet. It was a container ship, just like the ten that are at achor in Vancouver harbour right now. It carries 500 tonnes of bunker C as fuel just like all freighters do. There has never been an oil spill on the BC coast, despite the fact that one super-tanker/day steams from Alaska to Cherry Point, Washington and hundreds of cargo carriers traverse the coast regularly.
      Never a spill, never a serious grounding, never a collision, never a sinking. BC Ferries has a worse record for those than the shipping industry. Want to ban ferries?

      Martin Dunphy

      Oct 19, 2014 at 5:49pm

      Don't set:

      Again, no one in these pages, writers or commenters, has ever suggested banning freighters.