A fuel truck containing 17,000 litres of diesel fuel has sunk into the Johnstone Strait near the coast of Sayward after it rolled off a transportation barge during a windstorm.
No one was injured in the April 20 incident near Hardwicke Island, which was immediately reported to the Coast Guard, according to a joint statement from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Marine Link, the company that owns the barge, as well as other spill response agencies.
They say one of the five tanks on the truck leaked a yet-to-be-determined amount of fuel into the Johnstone Strait, a known critical habitat for northern resident killer whales and home to various other marine wildlife.
Officials have described the leak as “intermittent and minimal” and said a dive team’s attempts to patch any holes leaking fuel from the container into Johnstone Strait are ongoing.
Over 4,000 feet of boom has been deployed to contain the spill.
The truck is believed to be submerged 90 to 120 feet down.
Authorities are hoping to retrieve the truck within 72 hours, according to the joint statement released Wednesday.
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It isn’t yet clear how officials plan to retrieve the truck from the water.
Guy Adams, the owner of Marine Link Transportation, says the truck is well within their reach.
“The biggest complication is pulling all the pieces together in short notice. There’s an incident command structure that we have to work through with the Coast Guard folks,” he said. “I’m hoping for that to happen within the next couple of days.”
A command post made up of members from the Canadian Coast Guard, Marine Link Transportation, the B.C. government and First Nations from the area are overseeing and carrying out the clean-up.