Cargo ship spills toxic oil in Vancouver's English Bay (PHOTOS)
UPDATE, April 10, 8:42 a.m.: Transport Canada has confirmed the spill is coming from the Marathassa grain carrier. Crews have also stated that 80 per cent of the fuel has been contained.
Port Metro Vancouver says there was an oil spill in the waters of English Bay on Wednesday.
The Canadian Coast Guard is leading the cleanup operation and has been working with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation to contain and recover the substance since last night.
The City of Vancouver has stated that the substance is bunker fuel used to run a vessel and is toxic. There have been social media reports that some of the oil has reached the beaches and seawall of downtown.
The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation has set up a boom around ship Marathassa in an attempt to contain the spill and police, park rangers and Stanley Park Ecology Society staff are stationed at the beach areas to keep the public away.
According to CKNW, the spill was first spotted late yesterday afternoon at 5 p.m. Aerial photos show a light oily sheen can be seen over a wide area of the bay; the City says the slick currently spans a one kilometre radius.
The spill originated from the grain-carrying cargo ship Marathassa anchored in the middle of Burrard Inlet. Approximately 2,800 litres of oil were released, and as of late Thursday afternoon 1,400 litres have been recovered.
Penny Bellam, City Manager, says any ocean spills are the sole responsibility of the federal government.
The City and Park Board also stressed that very little is known about the spill, but they are working with federal agencies to investigate what happened. The City of Vancouver, Vancouver Police, Vancouver Fire and Transport Canada are also responding to help.
West End NDP MLA Spender Chandra-Herbert says the way the spill was immediately dealt with is a dire reminder that a lot has to be done before the province allows oil tankers in our harbours.
At roughly 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a sailor reported spotting a slick residue on the water. According to the City of Vancouver, the federal government did not make them aware of the spill until early Thursday morning.
The Marathassa, highlighted in red, is responsible for the oil spill.
Update: The substance spilled in Burrard Inlet is bunker fuel. Boater & watercraft alert: fuel is toxic, do not touch. #VanFuelSpill
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) April 9, 2015
Heavy bunker fuel spill in Burrard Inlet. Wind may push oil to shore. Coast Guard & police vessels are on way to site. #VanFuelSpill — City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) April 9, 2015
The oily substance topping the waters of English Bay covers a wide area @News1130radio pic.twitter.com/Nrd1x9dja5
— Chad Dey (@chad_dey) April 9, 2015
It appears fuel may be leaking from one of the cargo ships anchored in English Bay. Still unconfirmed @News1130radio pic.twitter.com/g8P1ehP0UY — Chad Dey (@chad_dey) April 9, 2015
Oil slick in English Bay now. pic.twitter.com/pEGXZcNaWT
— David (@Igottherunz) April 9, 2015
Minor oil spill in English Bay apparent on Sunset Beach. Traces in water lapping on shore. Sticky residue on my hand pic.twitter.com/j7360bqp8R — Mike Lloyd (@llikemoyd) April 9, 2015
Some troubling images of the fuel spill from @yvrnewsphotog in #Chopper9. #EnglishBay @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/Y6OVXa1C4V — Sheila Scott (@Sheila_Scott) April 9, 2015
City probing delayed response to #EnglishBay #VanFuelSpill http://t.co/pMyiFYWwmE And @pmharper wants more tankers! pic.twitter.com/bxPnqBfNFZ
— AFreeMansLife (@AFreeMansLife) April 9, 2015
Fuel coming ashore in #EnglishBay. #Vancouver #vanfuelspill pic.twitter.com/8J8AgLMsJy — Matt Jacques (@MattJacques) April 9, 2015
Oil can be seen topping the waters around English Bay this morning @News1130radio #Vancouver pic.twitter.com/Xm6j1DlmFa — Chad Dey (@chad_dey) April 9, 2015
“Minor” oil spill at #EnglishBay http://t.co/Un2FSFPzmm #Vancouver pic.twitter.com/Q5vcmjcarC via @News1130radio — Alex Pope (@mapleridgealex) April 9, 2015
Oily sheen at water’s edge and on sand at English Bay as crews work to contain and clean “minor” spill. Very sticky pic.twitter.com/qMuBlpJWVZ — Mike Lloyd (@llikemoyd) April 9, 2015
Oil spill in English Bay, from my living room window. Details: http://t.co/Zv7uL0rzLP pic.twitter.com/FEXzLGaYk9 — Ryan Frederick (@ry5n) April 9, 2015
Looks closely and you can see an oily sheen in the waters here at english bay. #cbc pic.twitter.com/lgiAT1Tt6n — Farrah Merali (@FarrahMerali) April 9, 2015
Slight oily, volatile smell as substance laps up on shore. Can see the slick stretching back out into English Bay. pic.twitter.com/7bK3xU6ynr — Mike Lloyd (@llikemoyd) April 9, 2015
Park Board Chair says Park Rangers stationed at city Beach is to keep the dogs out of the water. pic.twitter.com/aX8ovfEKry — Nafeesa Karim (@nafeesakarim) April 9, 2015
#vancouver fire boats deployed by VF&RS to assist with spill operations in English Bay. @VancouverPD and @CCG_GCC pic.twitter.com/R3AtU8W2cn — Vancouver Fire (@VanFireRescue) April 9, 2015
See fuel on or near a beach? Please contact the Coast Guard at 1 800 889 8852. #VanFuelSpill
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) April 9, 2015