Bulk Carrier Confirmed as Source of Vancouver Bunker Spill

A Vancouver PD boat inspects the MV Photo: Vancouver Police Department Marine Unit.
A Vancouver PD boat inspects the MV Marathassa, April 9, 2015. Photo: Vancouver Police Department Marine Unit.

A newly-built bulk carrier has been confirmed as the source of a bunker spill in Vancouver’s English Bay.

The oil spill was first reported to Port Metro Vancouver by the Canadian Coast Guard on Wednesday evening, and was later confirmed as heavy bunker fuel coming from one of a handful of cargo ship’s at anchor in the Bay.

On Friday, the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed the source of the spill as the MV Marathassa, an 81,000 DWT bulk carrier that was only recently delivered in March and currently on its maiden voyage.

Containment boom has been placed around the vessel.

The bunker spill impacted beaches around English Bay near downtown Vancouver, including Sunset Beach, Second, Third and English Bay beaches.

The response is being coordinated by Canadian Coast Guard, which is working with West Coast Marine Response Corporation to contain and recover the fuel oil. The City of Vancouver, Vancouver Police Department and Transport Canada, among other organizations, are also responding.

The Coast Guard reported that 80% of the oil observed was recovered as of Thursday night.

The Coast Guard has not provided any estimates about how much fuel was spilled.

A statement from Marathassa’s managers, Athen’s based Alassia NewShips Management, said:

The managers of the M/V Marathassa would like to reiterate their complete commitment to a full and professional clean-up response.  We are thankful to be working with some of the region’s most accomplished marine spill response professionals as we tackle the clean-up to the satisfaction of the local authorities. We appreciate the professional and capable work of the contracting community.

Managers of the M/V Marathassa emphatically state that the vessel’s insurance is fully compliant with Canadian law and duly in place. We have cooperated fully and will meet all our legal obligations arising out of this unfortunate incident.

We continue to investigate how the spill developed, which occurred on the vessel’s maiden voyage.  We will not stop the investigation until the ultimate discovery of the problem is determined.

We regret the incident and again, thank all those who are working to rectify the situation.