Category Archives: opps

Bunker C fuel spill in the Harbour @ NSP Tufts Cove Power Plant

Word is there a significant fuel spill of bunker C fuel at Tufts Cove. Sources indicate a pipe burst at the power plant leaking bunker C oil.

The Coastguard has Halifax Inshore rescue on scene. As well Connors Diving was deploying oil boom.

UPDATES Will Be Posted at
as they become available below

UPDATE 21:00: ECRC D03 (Above) was on scene as part of the  cleanup. the East Coast Response Co Maintains staff and equipment to deal with oil spills at oil production and shipping facilities, and maintain equipment at the Ultramar dock in Eastern Passage.

Bunker C tends to float, and it looks like boom was deployed quickly, probably easing the cleanup in the Harbour. I would expect Transport Canada to have there red Dash-8 100 aircraft performing NASP Flights looking for additional pollution.

UPDATE 22:54
NSP Has issued a statement

NSP have also promised an update tomorrow morning

Though the Tufts Cove plant normally runs natural gas, it was originally built as an oil fired plant to replace the coal fired plant in the south end (which has now been remade into Nova Scotia Power headquarters) the plant typically tops up the bunker C from a tanker every year.

UPDATE 08/03 10:00

UPDATE 10:23
I’m getting reports of Oil on the water well south of the narrows. there also appears to be a helicopter performing an aerial survey in the area. Yesterday Evening a NotShip (Notice to Shipping) was issued requesting a Low Wake and Wide birth when passing tufts cove.

UPDATE 1045:
Photos via our friends at Haligonia (Via Twitter), from the shores of Shannon Park. Oil on shore where the tide went out, also Birds and Seals potentially effected.

UPDATE 11:49: NSP’s promised update by 11:30 is now 19 minutes late.

UPDATE 1215:

NSP Issued their Update. From the Release:

The leak was discovered in an exterior pipe that runs from the onsite storage tanks into the facility by staff during a routine inspection. Plant staff immediately activated environmental response protocols by stopping oil flow through the pipe to prevent further leakage, deploying a boom in the area of the water nearest to the leak, and alerting the company’s environmental services contractors.

Work last night and this morning included the installation of two additional booms in Halifax Harbour in front of the plant as a precaution to contain the oil. Vacuum trucks and oil absorbent materials (pom poms) are being used to remove the oil from the water surface. Additionally, workers are actively assessing the water and shoreline in the area by helicopter and by boat to prioritize areas requiring cleanup.

We still don’t know how much oil was released, or since this was apparently discovered by routine inspection – how long oil was leaking for.

Update 08/07: Cleanup continued over the long weekend, and a large area infront of the power plant is still boomed off. There are also reports of Oil on shore outside the boomed area – which is likely, as the outgoing tide would draw the oil south.  NSP reports the spill happened within 2 hours of discovery, which would have the spill occurring on the rising tide.

NSP Claims the spill was 5000L – onto Land this sounds like its under reported, given the oil still in the water, and the reports of oil not contained within the booms.

Oceanex, Ice, and Bow Damage.

Oceanex has recently been having a rough go of it in the ice.  The other week, Oceanex Connaigra was sporting large dents in her bulbous bow after encountering ice. The same fate appears to have occurred to Oceanex Sanderling, who is currently tied up at pier 36, with new plating being installed on her bow.


given the limited extent of the damage, my guess is the ships struck Growlers, basically “small” chunks of ice floating floting south. While much smaller then a an Iceberg, they clearly can do alot of damage.

Arca 1 aground off Sydney.

Above photos from don. Used with permission
DFO is reporting that the former Montreal based bunkering tanker Arca 1 has run aground off Sydney NS. JRCC Confirmed that the Vessel lost power, and went aground at 10am.


Location of Arca 1. Red dot in upper left corner.

The vessel was recently sold to Dominican interests after being laid up, and was bound for the Caribbean, with a stop in Shelburne, likely for a survey or work period.

Designed to work in sheltered waters of the port of Montreal the vessel was skirting the coast, and sheltering from weather. She was built at Port Weller in 1963 as Imperial Lachine and changed hands a few times. She finally was laid up for sale in 2014.

More to follow

Updated 13:47. Images from JRCC via twitter.

UPDATE:15:20 – Crew Hoisted off. Vessel is in the surf zone, and will probably get pushed higher up onto the beach/ torn apart.

See  Shipfax for a better description of the vessel. The engines are located on deck, and could easily be overcome by following seas.


Update 0900 01/09:

Looks like CCGS Earl Grey and several tugs, including Robert Mckeil Arrived on scene over night. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to Sydney. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

UPDATE 14:30:

TSB has arrived on Scene. Tugs have returned to port – Tim Mckeil was also in attendance (Mckeil has an operation in Sydney) NASP Overflights to monitor for pollution continue.


Update 1600:

Offshore wind forecast tomorrow morning. An attempt will be made to pull her of the ground then. High Tide is at 6:31am tomorrow, so I would guess that’s when they will try.


Update 2100:

Mckeil will be performing the salvage on the 6:30am High Tide. The plan is to have the Small tug Kaliutik attempt to pull the Arca 1 free. If she cant do it, she will run a tow line to the Tim Mckeil, 1/2 mile off shore in deeper water, who can offer a more powerful pull. Apparently the bottom is sandy there, so there is little damage to the ship, and once free will be towed into Sydney.

The owners, Mexician Oil Company Petroil, have been using Inchcape Shipping Services as agents. Inchcape hired Mckeil to do the salvage work.

I have also learned from industry Sources that the Captain is believed to be American, but the other 5 crew members are Canadian.

Update 2345:

Crews boarded the vessel to prepare for the tow earlier tonight.


Update: 0800 01/10

unconfirmed – Looks like she is still aground. seas look calm, so Im guessing shes really stuck in the sand. CCGS Earl grey was headed into port earlier.

Update 1100:

Reports are (from Local Xpress) that they will go for tonight’s high tide instead. Salvage crews will pump out ballast water which should lighten the vessel. there is no damage to the hull. High tide tonight is at 6:31, and tonight’s will be about 20cm higher then this mornings tide.

Update 1500:

CG reports towline is attached. deballasting operations are underway.

NASP overflight photo from earlier today.

update 1600:

found this photo on Facebook – shows the drive units raised out of water.

Update 1630: looks like dewatering has raised the vessel

Update 0830 01/11:

The attempt last night to pull Arca 1 off the shore failed. Mckeil is reporting needing a larger tug, which will take a couple of days to arrive. As well, weather is deteriorating, which will cause a few days delay. Salvage crews pumped ballast water back in to ensure the vessel stays put.

On Stuck icebreakers in the Antarctic.

The world media as of late have been covering the story of Russian Icebreaker Akademik Shokalskiy which has been beset by ice since December 24. It should be noted that Akademik has operated their vessel Akademik Ioffe in the Canadian Arctic in the past.

One Ocean Expeditions Has applied for a coasting trade license for the Akademik Ioffe to offer arctic cruises between July and September. they advertise a trip to the ice edge in Davis Straight.

This is not to say that the icebreaker will get stuck, or to imply that Akademik runs a shoddy outfit. just to say to it could happen.

DS Crown to the Rescue

Tradewinds is reporting that

A post panamax containership is on fire in the middle of the North Atlantic after an explosion in a containerstack. The crew of the 6,732-teu MSC Flaminia (built 2001) have abandoned ship with four of the 25 seafarers reported to have suffered injuries and one missing. A rescue is currently underway with the oil tanker DS Crown the nearest vessel able to provide assistance to the crew who took to a lifeboat and liferaft. The incident happened about 1,000 miles from the Canadian and UK coasts so beyond the range of rescue helicopters.

DS Crown is the former Front Crown which was sold to new owners and was renamed in Anchorage 1, before she sailed in last week


Tradewinds reports that 2 crew have died, and 2 tugs with firefighting equipment are on route. A Lloyds Open Form salvage agreement has been signed with SMIT.

See for official releases from the ships owner. Firefighting equipent has arrived, and the plan is to extinguish the flames and tow the vessel to europe. Reederei NSB also released the following Photos:


UPDATE 3 (July 19) There has apperntly been a second explosion, leading to a halt of fire fighting Efforts. An addtional Tug is also enroute

HMCS Preserver Update

CBC News is reporting that HMCS Preserver’s Commander has been relived of command Following the Collision with the Nova Dock.

The Damage to The Nova Dock has been Repaired, as has the Damage to Preserver. Preserver was Seen Docked at the Magazine Jetty in the Bedford Basin, a sign that she is now loaded and ready for duty.

Update: HMCS Preserver was seen operating outside Halifax.

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