The Alaska Plaza sinking in Port McNeill. (Jared Towers | Facebook)

The Alaska Plaza sinking in Port McNeill. (Jared Towers | Facebook)

Barge sinks, releases diesel at Port McNeill marina Christmas Eve

Environmental response used a boom to contain the diesel spill

Two barges broke free of the dock at Port McNeill late on Dec. 24, causing diesel gas to spill into the water. The Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response, first responders and West Coast Marine Response attended in the early hours of Dec. 25.

The larger of the two barges, the 80-foot, two-storey Alaska Plaza, sunk at the dock with an estimated 3,000 litres of diesel fuel on board, according to the Coast Guard.

A boom was laid around the barge and successfully contained the spill, according to the Coast Guard’s communications officer Dan Bate. Diesel was upswelling from the barge, “but no fuel has been observed outside of the containment boom.”

“A local contractor has been hired to pick up drifting fuel containers from the barge and bring them ashore for proper disposal.”

The second barge, the 50-foot Sea Lander, has no fuel on board. It separated from the dock and got stuck on the breakwater, but did not sink. A local tug boat tried to tow the Sea Lander off the breakwater, but winds on Dec. 25 were too strong. An alternate plan is being worked on between the barge owner, their contractor and the Coast Guard.

More to come.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


Environment