Barge grounded on Quadra Island won’t move today

WatchOne neighbour says it sounded like armageddon when it hit the rock

A plan to move a barge that ran aground on Quadra Island will wait for another day.

The northbound barge Nana Provider, pulled by the tug Polar King, hit an underwater rock shortly before 8 o’clock last night north of Cape Mudge.

“I was sitting in my living room and all of a sudden I heard a humongous scratching and grinding and had no idea what it was. It sounded like armageddon,” said Catherine Smith, a neighbour.

It was like a thunder that never broke apart. It was ongoing,” said Jordon Watson, another neighbour.

Witnesses say it continued for at least 15 seconds and when they went outside they could see the stuck barge.

They say conditions were calm, the tide was out and there was no obvious reason why the barge would’ve ended up so close to shore.

“It will be interesting to see what caused this because like I said the tug boat was a good block down from the barge,” said Smith.

The Canadian Coast Guard responded. It says none of the 6 people on board the tug were injured and there was nothing in the barge’s hull. There’s no word on what’s in the rail cars the barge was hauling.

The Strathcona Regional District director for Quadra Island says it’s fortunate nothing, such as fuel, appears to have spilled in the water.

“We don’t know what’s in those containers. What if this was some other type of vessel? What if it was a tanker of some sort?” said Jim Abram.

And he says this should make people seriously consider if we want tanker traffic to increase on the BC Coast.

“Anything that comes off of a vessel is going to disperse immediately in both directions and completely destroy anything that we have in the way of tourism, aquaculture and fisheries,” said Abram.

Divers spent much of the day trying to determine how damaged the hull was and whether the barge could be moved at high tide this afternoon.

Eventually they decided to wait for another day.

Seattle-based Dunlap Towing, which owns the Polar King declined to comment.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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