Bella Bella Oil Spill Called ‘An Environmental Disaster’
BELLA BELLA, B.C. — A report says two tanks containing oil or contaminants from a submerged tug west of Bella Bella, off British Columbia’s central coast, were either torn open or severely damaged when the vessel ran aground.
Despite bad weather that has complicated salvage efforts, divers were able to check the bottom of the Nathan E. Stewart on Sunday, as it rests in nine metres of water in a channel about 500 kilometres north of Vancouver.
A joint situation report issued by the American tug owner and federal, provincial and First Nations groups says divers found the lube tank torn and pumped out nothing but water on Sunday from the severely damaged bilge tank.
When the tug ran aground on Oct. 13, the lube tank contained about 2,400 litres of oil. The bilge tank was believed to have held nearly 3,700 litres of water, oil, sludge and other engine-room and ship’s contaminants called dirty bilge.
Bella Bella Oil Spill Called 'An Environmental Disaster'