Sunken Tug near Gibsons

DISCLAIMER: Information provided is based on reports received by Emergency Management B.C. Information provided is considered to be current at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.

Incident Description

Incident Date October 1, 2019
Name Sunken Tug near Gibsons (DGIR: 192243)
Source Vessel
Nearest Community Gibsons, B.C.
Spilled Content Fuel 
Who is involved? Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Terminal Forest Products, Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC), Squamish First Nation, Sechelt First Nation, Musqueam First Nation, B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (ENV)


Response Phase Detail

The responsible person or spiller is legally required to clean-up or manage the clean-up of a spill. In incidents where the responsible person is unknown, unable or unwilling to manage the clean up, the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (ENV) may assume the role. The updates below reflect the Ministry’s oversight of the spillers’ actions; details describe the spill response phase, only, and not the complete lifecycle of the spill. See More Information for other related reports. 

Updates are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top. Industry-specific language may be explained in the Glossary of Terms (PDF).

Most Recent Update

October 4, 2019 - 5:30 pm

Shoreline assessment teams, wildlife specialists, and a member of the Squamish First Nation attended sensitive areas near the incident site today. No oil was observed along the shoreline and there were no sightings of oiled or distressed wildlife. 

The National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) plane did an overflight today to measure the amount of oil on water. The plane detected a total of 1.6 L of sheen on the water.

Protection boom will remain in place over the weekend and the incident will continued to be monitored. 

No further updates are anticipated unless the situation worsens.  

October 3, 2019 - 11:45 am

The Canadian Coast Guard, two representatives from the Squamish First Nation, and an Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) attended the incident site yesterday (October 2).

Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) plane flew over the incident site yesterday as well, scanning for fuel on the water's surface. At the time of the overflight, 10.1 L of fuel was detected at the incident site and the surrounding area. The sheen observed was deemed unrecoverable due to the thinness of the product on the water. Additionally, no oiled wildlife were observed.    

The Canadian Coast Guard is overseeing the response and working with the tug owner, response partners, and local First Nations, to determine and implement a course of action. 

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is supporting the Canadian Coast Guard’s response by providing spill trajectory modelling. Staff from ECCC, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (ENV) identified resources at risk in the area. 

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) deployed 1,850 ft of protection boom in sensitive, high-priority areas near the incident site to protect resources at risk. 

Additional updates will be posted when new information is available. 

Sunken tug near Gibsons

(WCMRC vessel with the NASP plane in the background - October 2, 2019)

Sunken tug near Gibsons

(WCMRC vessels near the incident site - October 2, 2019)

October 2, 2019 - 8:30 am 

A 30 - 40 ft tug has sunk in approximately 450 - 600 ft of water near Gibsons, B.C. There are no reported injuries and it is unknown at this time what caused the vessel to sink. 

A rainbow sheen was visible yesterday (October 1, 2019) in the area around the sunken vessel. The responsible person, Terminal Forest Products, deployed boom and is reviewing details of the last re-fuel, as well as typical burn rates, to determine a rough estimate of fuel onboard. 

Canadian Coast Guard is currently responding and an Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) with B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (ENV) will continue to monitor this incident. 

Additional updates will be posted as soon as new information is available. 

Approximate Incident Location