An investigation is underway after a Seaspan barge tipped, dumping part of its load into the Salish Sea early Wednesday morning.
The barge was just south of Pender Island, near Stuart Island in Haro Strait, when the accident happened.
Seaspan says the vessel, which was carrying wood chips, heeled heavily to its port side around 1 a.m.
Part of its load ended up in the water.
Ian Hinkle, who took photos of the barge, was a captain of a Cold Water Divers vessel at the time of the incident. He was en route to a salvage job in the Southern Gulf Islands and said most of the load did not go in the water.
The tug towing the barge continued on at reduced speed and the barge was back to a near-upright position by 10 a.m.
There were no injuries and Seaspan says the affected barge is an unpowered vessel with no fuel or petroleum products on board.
Conditions were calm at the time of the incident.
Seaspan says there was an ebb tide but it’s not yet clear if that was a factor in the incident.
A detailed investigation is currently trying to determine what went wrong.
Both Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the spill.