A local area director is concerned about the forecast of upcoming windy weather conditions and how they could affect a large shipping barge that’s grounded just off the shore of Quadra Island.
Jim Abram, Strathcona Regional Director for Area C, is worried that the rising and falling of the vessel in the adverse conditions could further damage the hull of the “Nana Provider” which ran aground just south of Quathiaski Cove shortly before 8 p.m. Nov. 9.
“If we have tidal action, wave action, wind action, all happening over the next few days, that barge is going to be rising and falling on those rocks, which could compromise the hull even further,” he said. “That’s a very serious concern because you know it may be right at the tipping point as to whether or not it can be floated or whether or not it can be repaired. We don’t know. We just don’t know.”
Marine forecasts for the area suggest that winds could be between 37 and 74 km/h this weekend.
“We’ve got wind, waves and weather to contend with now and we’re being told that it’s not going to be very good,” said Abram. “That could be a very rough sea out there, which could raise and lower that barge quite substantially.”
Earlier this week, the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed that there were three rail cars on the deck of the barge that contain product. One has compressed CO2, while the other two contain a corrosion inhibitor.
Transport Canada is overseeing plans to refloat the barge. In an emailed statement on Nov. 14, a spokesperson said they were working with the responsible party and the salvage contractor.
“Transport Canada is ensuring that the salvage contractor is aware of the bathymetry (measurement of underwater depth), environment and tidal currents in Discovery Passage and is taking these into account in developing their plan,” the spokesperson said.
Work to attempt to refloat the barge continues, however it’s unlikely any efforts will take place before the weekend.
In a statement on Nov. 12, a spokesperson for Lynden, the parent company of the barge’s owner, said that barge doesn’t contain petroleum or other cargo in its hull and that “there is no danger to the residents of Quadra Island.”
A request for an update on the refloating efforts was not returned by publication time.
Divers inspected the barge and the Coast Guard said on Sunday that the hull was compromised. No further information about the condition of the hull has been released.
Today, the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy published a file for the incident on their “Spill Incidents” webpage. It says “no pollution has been observed.”