Coast Guard warns of explosive hazard after barge runs aground on Haida Gwaii

West Coast Marine Response deploys skimmer vessel from Prince Rupert

All mariners are being warned to stay away from a floating lodge barge grounded on the east side of Lina Island in Haida Gwaii.

According to the Canadian Coast Guard, the barge is considered an explosive hazard, and mariners should stay at least 0.2 nautical miles away in all directions. There are reports of a fuel leak into the barge hold. No injuries have been reported, and as of 8 p.m. Sunday there are no reports of any fuel leaks into the ocean.

The barge Tasu I is carrying a fishing lodge, owned by HaiCo, that got unmoored from an anchoring buoy in Alliford Bay during a storm on Saturday night. One person was aboard when the barge began drifting around 9 p.m.

The barge drifted about 10 km west until it ran aground on the rocky east side of Lina Island, which is in view of Queen Charlotte.

Crews inspected the barge Saturday night and Sunday morning and smelled strong gas vapours. They saw the hull had been breached in several places after hitting boulders on the beach.

According to HaiCo, the barge is compartmentalized and in little danger of sinking, but the vapours have made it hard for responders to find out how much fuel has leaked or where.

The Eagle Bay Sentinel, a skimmer vessel dispatched by the West Coast Marine Response Corporation, is now on scene, and a WCMRC drop trailer with fuel-containment boom and other supplies was moved to the Queen Charlotte boat launch.

A strong east wind with gusts of up to 50 km/h is forecast for Queen Charlotte this evening.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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