Efforts begin to raise sunken tug near Bella Bella

Some progress in work to reposition the Nathan E. Stewart

Work is underway to reposition a submerged tug before lifting it from waters off B.C.’s central coast.

Ayla Brown of the Heiltsuk First Nation says salvage experts used chains attached to anchors to drag the Nathan E. Stewart about 300 metres into deeper waters of Seaforth Channel, west of Bella Bella.

She says dragging began overnight and the tug had been pulled about 25 per cent of the way toward a salvage barge.

Once it is in deeper water, a crane will lift the 30-metre tug onto the salvage barge, but Brown says the operation was delayed due to tides and swells that made dragging unsafe.

It’s hoped work can resume with the changing tide.

The Nathan E. Stewart ran aground on Oct. 13, spilling more than 100,000 litres of diesel and other contaminants.

Since then, federal officials have ordered closure of shellfish beds vital to the economy of the Heiltsuk Nation.

Marilyn Slett, Heiltsuk chief councillor, said she was relieved to see movement of the tug after 29 days aground on the reef.

“The real impacts of this spill on our culturally significant harvesting ground are far from assessed. We continue to remain focused on the impacts of the spill on our community and their well-being,” says Slett.

Photos posted by the First Nation earlier this week show the tug was leaking residual oils, Brown says.

“Those are heavy residual oils that could not be removed in the pumping process because they are trapped between the ceiling and walls,” she says.

Despite slow progress dragging the tug, Brown hopes it will be out of the water soon.

“They can only pull on one of the tides, so they can pull for six hours, wait for six hours, pull for six, wait for six. That sounds like it’s how it’s going to go, as long as the weather co-operates.”

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Kitimat registers biggest drop in property assessments

The residential property in the north with the highest value was $2.892 million

Former mayor Ray Brady passes away

“What I can say is that he was passionate about his beliefs and he would fight for them.”

CDC’s housing section looking for new home

CDC executive director says it has until Jan. 31 to move out.

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Most Read