Fisher accidentally dumps diesel fuel into Ucluelet harbour

“The source had already stopped by the time I got to the boat,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

A fishing vessel recently created a smelly stir in Ucluelet when a crew member accidentally dumped diesel fuel into the ocean.

Ucluelet’s Harbour Master Kevin Cortes told the Westerly News that the vessel was parked at a privately owned dock when the spill occurred on Jan 30.

“The vessel was out fishing and, with the rough weather, was coming in…[A crew member] realized he had a major list to his boat,” Cortes said. “Then he realized there was a hole.”

The hole was at a ballast tank, which needed to be emptied before the hole could be welded shut.

“In the starboard stern tank there was water in the ballast and the opposite side of the stern tank had fuel in it…A little bit of the diesel from the port side got into the starboard side and he did not realize that when he dumped it,” Cortes said.

He said he was alerted to the spill by the Canadian Coast Guard, but did not have a location for the vessel until he noticed fuel coming out of the harbour during his early morning rounds at the Whiskey Dock on Jan. 30 and followed the spill to the vessel.

“The source had already stopped by the time I got to the boat,” he said.

Cortes said he spoke with the engineer working on the vessel and was satisfied that no further fuel was leaking, but was then contacted by a concerned resident who reported an accumulation of diesel at a Hyphocus Island shoreline, so Cortes and the engineer brought absorbent pads to the site to clean it up.

“There was not a whole lot of accumulation, but there was a smell,” Cortes said. “So, him and I went down there and spent an hour-and-a-half or so mopping it up with pads and pretty much got most of it.”

He added he spoke with the Canadian Coast Guard, which conducted a fly-over of the area when the weather cleared up a few days later.

He said the amount of diesel spilled is not known, but suggested Ucluelet’s harbour sees similar sized spills roughly twice a year. He said the vessel is a regular of Ucluelet’s trawl fishery, but he does not foresee any future incidents.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Small fuel spill at Ucluelet’s inner boat basin

READ MORE: Spill contained at Ucluelet fuel dock

READ MORE: Mock oil spill at Ucluelet fuel dock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Most Read