By Monday October 17[SUP]th[/SUP] , the barge DBL 55 had been removed from the scene of the tug grounding and is currently anchored at the mouth of nearby Dundavan Inlet of the Heiltsuk Territory, according to the officials from the Canadian Coast Guard, which is working with Kirby, and the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation who is in charge of the clean-up efforts, and officials from the Heiltsuk First Nation, and provincial governments that initially responded to the spill and accident. The barge had been empty of cargo at the time of the grounding, but some fuel from the attached tug Nathan E. Stewart was later pumped into one of the barges holding tanks. The ATB tug remained partially submerged at the site of the grounding Monday evening, but was resting on the bottom and at this time considered stable with all tank hold vents plugged to lessen the ecological impact, the Canadian Coast Guard stated.
Photo Credit - Canadian Coast Guard.
Houston-based Kirby stated the Nathan E. Stewart tug was loaded with 59,924 gallons of diesel fuel when it ran aground, and that 6,554 gallons of diesel had been pumped from the tug into a tank on the barge before the lightering pumps failed due to water in the engine room. Kirby confirmed that the tug was also carrying 639 gallons of lube oil, 550 gallons of hydraulic oil, 550 gallons of gear oil, and 969 gallons dirty bilge water. The amount of fuel spilled had not been confirmed as of Monday evening. At this time there has been no interview with the Kirby crew members in an effort to gather further information and details of the accident.
[U][B]The Response and Salvage
[/B][/U]Responders began hot tapping operations Monday evening, and accelerated lightering operations to remove the remaining fuel from the tug were expected to take approximately 40 hours to complete. Crews planned to work around-the-clock until all remaining fuel was removed. As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, the Canadian Coast Guard reported that 6,200 gallons of fuel had been removed from the tug overnight. The Coast Guard also stated that salvage plans were still being developed at this time, but initially called for a crane to be brought in to lift the tug onto a barge for removal.