‘Minor spill’ in Fraser River from overturned fishing vessel

Premier Clark says Coast Guard met expected pollution response standard this time

The 85-foot fishing boat Western Crusader capsized shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday

 

A small amount of engine or bilge oil that escaped into the Fraser River from a capsized fishing boat at a marina in Richmond triggered a Coast Guard-led pollution response Tuesday.

The light sheen, visible down the river from Shelter Island Marina as far as the Massey Tunnel, was deemed to be non-recoverable, according to Port Metro Vancouver.

It came just over a month after a spill of bunker fuel oil from a grain freighter in English Bay fouled beaches and led to strong criticism of the Coast Guard response.

This time, a port patrol vessel and Coast Guard hovercraft were on scene quickly by 8 a.m., and absorbent pads and a containment boom were deployed to contain any more leaking contaminants.

Coast Guard spokesman Dan Bate said the “minor spill” came from the 80-foot fishing boat Western Crusader, which had empty fuel tanks and had just been moved here from Campbell River.

Premier Christy Clark, who had suggested Ottawa might relinquish spill response authority to B.C. after the April 8th Marathassa spill, said Tuesday it appears the Coast Guard performed at the standard expected this time.

“So far we’re satisfied,” Clark said. “The response, I’m told, was quick, and the spill was quite small.”

– with files from Martin van den Hemel and Tom Fletcher

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