HMCS Calgary spills 30,000 litres of fuel into Strait of Georgia


The Royal Canadian Navy says one of their vessels, HMCS Calgary, spilled 30,000 litres of fuel into the Strait of Georgia Saturday morning.

The spill is predicted to have occurred between Nanoose Harbour and the Boundary Pass.

Officials say the crew of the vessel immediately notified Navy officials and Environment Canada once they noticed the ship was gradually leaking the fuel.

The ship reversed course after the discovery but was unable to find any slick or spill.

The type of fuel, marine F-76, evaporates and disperses quickly ? making it difficult for clean up crews to locate it.

“It’s the equivalent of kerosene,” said Pacific Naval Fleet Commander Jeff Zwick in a press conference.  “We are monitoring [the impact] closely… this fuel historically does not provide a significant effect to marine life.”

“We know this particular fuel is light in nature, and it floats on the surface, and readily evaporates.”

The Department of National Defense is leading a coordinated effort to find and clean up the spill.

Photo courtesy of MARPAC/FMAR

Photo of  HMCS Calgary, courtesy of MARPAC/FMAR

The Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Emergency Managment BC are working alongside with the DND.

The spill occurred as HMCS Calgary was conducting an internal transfer of fuel between its tanks.

Air-based and sea-based patrols are still being conducted. As of Sunday officials say they have not found the spill.

They do not believe it poses a significant threat to marine life, and expect most of the fuel to evaporate.

A technical and operational investigation into the cause of the leak is being conducted by the DND.

Anyone with information on the spill is asked to contact the Regional Joint Operations Centre at 250-363-5848.

A press conference was held in CFB Esquimnlat Sunday after the fuel spill

A press conference was held in CFB Esquimnlat Sunday after the fuel spill

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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