An aerial view of the marine oil-spill near Bligh Island in Nootka sound that the Canadian Coast Guard posted in a live social media feed in December. ( Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)

An aerial view of the marine oil-spill near Bligh Island in Nootka sound that the Canadian Coast Guard posted in a live social media feed in December. ( Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)

Oil from vessel that sank in 1968 off Vancouver Island to be removed

DFO hires Florida firm to carefully remove oil from MV Schiedyk in Nootka Sound starting in mid-June

The federal government is taking steps to remove bulk fuel from a vessel that sank in 1968 and is leaking oil off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan says recent results of a technical assessment determined that immediate action is necessary to remove fuel from the vessel in order to protect Nootka Sound.

The Fisheries Department says in a release that in the fall of 2020, the shipwreck was confirmed to be the source of visible sheen on the surface of the water off Bligh Island Provincial Park.

It says that since then, the coast guard, B.C.’s Environment Ministry and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation have been leading a virtual incident command post to manage the response to reduce oil on the water.

A technical assessment has found two tanks containing about 146 cubic metres of heavy fuel oil, one with marine diesel oil and the other with mixed oil product on board the vessel, called the MV Schiedyk.

The federal government has awarded a $5.7-million contract to a Florida company that it says will use a process called hot tapping to reduce the volume of fuel by drilling a hole in the tanks and pumping out the fuel.

“Given the nature of the operation, there is a small risk of a larger release of oil,” the Fisheries Department says.

“Canadian Coast Guard environmental response crews are prepared to address this should it arise, and will continue to be on-site and ready to respond if necessary.”

The work is expected to start in mid-June and take several weeks.

The department says the 147-metre cargo ship built in Ireland struck a submerged ledge on the south side of Bligh Island in January 1968 before drifting down Zuciarte Channel and sinking to a depth of 122 metres.

It says that before the 34 crew members abandoned ship, oil was reported on the water but it’s not known how much oil escaped at that time.

Almost 40,000 kilograms of oil and oily waste has been recovered so far.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Active marine oil slick near Nootka Sound tied to historic 1968 Bligh Island shipwreck

RELATED: Sea otter, heron treated as team battles active oil slick near Nootka Sound

Environmentoil and gas

Just Posted

Work has begun on the $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp. File photo
Work begins on Slocan Valley fibre-optic line

The $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line runs from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Photo courtesy of Mercer Celgar
Mercer Celgar to install new technology thanks to $4.5 million in federal funds

Project features process to improve fibre processing and address regional fibre availability issues

Asian clams versus native B.C. clams comparison. Photo: Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society
Invasive Asian Clams found in Pend D’Oreille River

Watercraft users and anglers are urged to clean, drain and dry gear

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read