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

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

Kobe Zembal (left) and Kale Rochette pose with some of the raised flower beds they have built. The flowerbeds are made from recycled plastic repurposed into plastic lumber. (Photo submitted)
Teens run successful plastic lumber products business in Bashaw

Pair of teenagers are learning first-hand about entrepreneurial spirit

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Most Read