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JimD
11-27-2017, 01:16 PM
http://www.terracestandard.com/news/barge-carrying-fuel-in-distress-off-b-c-coast-near-bella-bella/


A commercial tug, the Gulf Cajun, has arrived and is hooking up a tow line to the stranded fuel barge off the coast of Bella Bella.On Sunday night, a fuel barge carrying millions of litres of fuel and was in distress in rough water with gale force winds, but the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria said this morning that winds decreased overnight to 20 knots, but the seas remain at two metres.
The 420-foot fuel barge Jake Shearer broke free from its tug about 45 kilometres southwest of Bella Bella. It was carrying 3.4 million litres of diesel and 468,000 litres of gasoline.

http://1acgtt12xmhd5laxc2saim4d.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/9538767_web1_bella-bella-PM.jpg

JimD
11-27-2017, 02:20 PM
And the natives are tired of waiting for Trudeau's 'world class' spill response promises: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/11/27/news/tug-distress-near-bella-bella-highlights-need-indigenous-led-marine-response

Jim Bow
11-27-2017, 02:32 PM
^^^ Seems that Stephen Harper had 9 years to disable any environmental protection in Canada. Trudeau has only had 2 years to build them back.

We'll be doing the same after 2020.

mmd
11-27-2017, 02:42 PM
C'mon, guys; read the article fully before apportioning blame, OK? From the article:

"B.C. Spill Response posted on social media that there are no reports of a spill, though it is preparing to respond."

"The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Gordon Reid was deployed and the Cape St. James was en route. Three other tugboats that were nearby have also offered assistance..."

"Asked about potential oil spill response resources, Moores said the Coast Guard is setting up a response centre. 'We’re dispatching five vessels from Prince Rupert: the Eagle Bay, the Gill Sentinal, the Kaien Sentinal, one workboat and one booms kit,' said Michael Lowry, communications for Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation."

“We’re also dispatching a vessel from Vancouver Island to Port Hardy, just so there are four positions just in case there ends up being an incident. At this point as far as I know, the vessel is anchored so at this point we’re just being precautionary.”

Seems like a pretty robust response to a potential spill.

robm
11-27-2017, 02:43 PM
The only problem with "world class, state of the art" oil spill response is that it is just about useless, as everyone noticed when BP's oil well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico. Spill recovery technology hasn't changed much since before the Exxon Valdez. At least this stuff is refined, not crude, so it is not as persistent in the environment. If it does spill, it will only be around for decades, instead of forever.

If the weather is nasty enough to separate a barge from its tug, how much use is a boom going to be?

And Prince Rupert and Port Hardy are both over 120 miles away by sea. Not super quick response, if there was a spill. Good thing they are being proactive.

JimD
11-28-2017, 10:41 AM
Update, the barge is reported to be under control . http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/barge-oil-stranded-bella-bella-1.4421347

Bobcat
11-28-2017, 12:47 PM
I was following this on the CBC. Sounds as if everything went well. The barge broke loose, but got anchored. The Coast Guard stood by while another tug came to collect the barge. No spill of any kind.

mmd
11-28-2017, 01:23 PM
"If the weather is nasty enough to separate a barge from its tug, how much use is a boom going to be?"

If deployed in waves that are not breaking, surprisingly good. The barge breaks its tow because of its surging due to wave action, the floating boom contours to the waves.

"And Prince Rupert and Port Hardy are both over 120 miles away by sea. Not super quick response, if there was a spill."

How much of an increase in Coast Guard budget - and in your taxes - are you willing to support in order to have a greater Coast Guard presence on the coast?

robm
11-28-2017, 02:05 PM
Cheap at the price for effective oil spill response. 120 miles + is at least 5 - 6 hours, in good weather. Maybe we should be finding a way to charge the potential users of this service for the costs. There are very few fuel barges in these waters now. Some small local stuff for coastal communities like Bella Bella, that is about it. Not sure about Prince Rupert, they are probably getting fuel by road and rail now. This stuff is going to Alaska, and BC and Canada do not benefit one bit. Do the American shipping companies pay anything for passage, or kick into the operating costs of the spill response company? Other than reciprocal cooperation with the US Coast Guard, what does Canada get out of this?

Same argument as the pipelines: we take the risk, someone else gets the benefit.

Some good stuff here on the local spill response organization:
http://wcmrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Western-Mariner-July-2017-WCMRC.pdf

They have a bunch of vessels, maybe they should work on their distribution a bit better. 6 hour response meets their requirements, but that is not very reassuring.

JimD
11-28-2017, 02:23 PM
I'd imagine the Heiltsuk Nation, that had their little world ruined by the relatively small leak from the Nathan E Stewart a little over year ago would think it's worth spending the money. More coast guard and environmental response would be something I would rather see us spend our money on rather that trying to equip the air force with the deadliest aircraft they can buy.

https://www.desmog.ca/2017/09/01/why-we-re-taking-government-court-over-promise-world-class-oil-spill-response


On Oct. 13, 2016, shortly after 1 a.m., Kirby Corporation’s tug the Nathan E. Stewart and its barge ran aground (https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2016/10/20/Failed-Spill-Response/) in the heart of Heiltsuk (https://www.heiltsuknation.ca/) territory.Less than eight hours later it had sunk, and 110,000 litres of diesel fuel and 2,000 litres of lubricants, heavy oils, other pollutants were released (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58df1f48197aea8ba6edafca/t/58e1c9e0e58c62c8b29f4e88/1491192321080/HTC-NES-IRP-2017-03-31.pdf) into the surrounding waters.
On charts, the area northwest of Bella Bella is known as Gale Passage, but to our people, this is Q’vqvai.
For millennia, it has been the site of one our ancient tribal groups, the Q́vqvaitx̌v; a home to ceremonial practices (past and present); and one of our richest harvest grounds. Until diesel saturated these shellfish beds last fall, our people harvested at least 25 food species from the area, including the red sea urchins, sea cucumber, herring roe, rockfish, halibut, and clams.
Despite deploying first responders (http://www.hirmd.ca/press-release-1---tanker-barge.html) as soon as possible, our people were helpless to stop the spill.

mmd
11-28-2017, 02:33 PM
I happen to agree with you, JimD, about spending more money on Coast Guard ships & infrastructure, but I had to ask the question. Can we get the USA to pay passage fees? Highly unlikely. I also believe that what you are seeing in the Inside Passage is but a small precursor to what will go on in the arctic when (not if) commercial traffic starts using the North West Passage as a regular shipping route. The fact that our governments (past & present) commission warships and Coast Guard ships to be built that are not adequately, or at all, ice-classed is, I believe, damned near criminal. But I also suspect that I will be dead and mouldering in my grave long before any significant change to this situation is implemented. The current national shipbuilding strategy is laughably inept.

Peerie Maa
11-28-2017, 02:48 PM
Beats me why tugs and barges are used. These, like Thames Fisher http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:186091/mmsi:234789000/imo:9145011/vessel:THAMES_FISHER would be far less risky.

mmd
11-28-2017, 03:02 PM
Same with anything else in the commercial world, Nick - cost. If you detach the cargo-carrying bit from the make-it-go bit, you can park the barge for load/unload/standby while the tug bit goes out and makes money doing other stuff. Also, in some northern communities (I believe) the fuel barge also serves as the storage facility in the community so leaving a ship in port for four or six months would be prohibitively expensive.

JimD
11-28-2017, 03:02 PM
Beats me why tugs and barges are used. These, like Thames Fisher http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:186091/mmsi:234789000/imo:9145011/vessel:THAMES_FISHER would be far less risky.I'm not that well informed on the issue but I presume part of it is to save money, because it takes a smaller crew to man an articulated tug barge than a single ship of equal capacity. Also, there may be some legal rule skirting going on, as in a 450 foot long barge pushed by a tug is not in the same legal category as a 450 foot long ship.

Peerie Maa
11-28-2017, 03:09 PM
Also, in some northern communities (I believe) the fuel barge also serves as the storage facility in the community so leaving a ship in port for four or six months would be prohibitively expensive.

This is the only reason that I find truly credible. The turnaround time for loading and unloading a clean products tanker of that small size is pretty minimal.

mmd
11-28-2017, 03:25 PM
JimD, do you know that it was an ATB? I thought it was a towed barge...

robm
11-28-2017, 03:27 PM
Pusher tug:

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/photos/of/ships/shipid:4300124/#forward

Peerie Maa
11-28-2017, 03:33 PM
Raises big questions about why they separated.

Chris Smith porter maine
11-28-2017, 03:59 PM
In rough weather the tug will need to get out of the notch and put the barge on a towline, the crime to me here is the tug didn't have redundant towing gear, probably either the bridle or the shock/snatch line parted, if it had the gear with 2 men already on the barge it would have been easy to mend the gear and take the barge back under tow.

mmd
11-28-2017, 04:08 PM
Thanks for the clarification, robm.

Chris is spot-on regarding why the tug de-coupled from the barge. The part about having men already on the barge with redundant gear available is a bit too speculative for ready answers, IMHO. I can think of several scenarios why it didn't happen, and a few do not have the ability to lay blame on anybody.

JimD
11-28-2017, 04:15 PM
From the cbc link above
The captain in charge of the retrieval operation said heavy seas caused the massive barge to become disconnected from the tug that was pushing it. Large waves hit the port side of the vessel, decoupling the pins that connect the barge to the tug.He said the stormy conditions made it impossible to reconnect it to the tug, so a commercial seagoing vessel was called.
"This was not a stranding. This was a decoupling of a barge. We now consider everything to be safe," said Captain Rich Softye.

Peerie Maa
11-28-2017, 04:16 PM
In rough weather the tug will need to get out of the notch and put the barge on a towline, .

Incredibly flakey way to run a business.

robm
11-28-2017, 04:17 PM
There must have been men on the barge, as they got it anchored.

One of the photos I linked to seems to show the tug/barge going under the Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver. Perhaps heading to the Transmountain Pipeline/Kinder Morgan loading facility?

Chris Smith porter maine
11-28-2017, 04:30 PM
Incredibly flakey way to run a business.

I agree, the tug can push the barge faster than it can tow it the difference can be surprising 2-4 knots even I'm still surprised at the lack of towing gear, when I worked tugs, a standard crew was 5, sometimes 6 if going on a long trip or doing something strenuous like running anchors for a pipe laying barge.

Bobcat
11-28-2017, 04:33 PM
I agree, the tug can push the barge faster than it can tow it the difference can be surprising 2-4 knots even I'm still surprised at the lack of towing gear, when I worked tugs, a standard crew was 5, sometimes 6 if going on a long trip or doing something strenuous like running anchors for a pipe laying barge.

Why can the barge/tug go faster when pushed than the tug/barge towed?

Peerie Maa
11-28-2017, 04:35 PM
I agree, the tug can push the barge faster than it can tow it the difference can be surprising 2-4 knots even I'm still surprised at the lack of towing gear, when I worked tugs, a standard crew was 5, sometimes 6 if going on a long trip or doing something strenuous like running anchors for a pipe laying barge.

It sounds as though there was inadequate voyage planing vis a vis weather forecasting as well.

mmd
11-28-2017, 04:35 PM
I can see where it would be difficult to re-engage the barge when the seas are rough enough to decouple it in the first place. But I think Nick is arguing against the use of an ATB at all, rather than decrying the seamanship and decisions of the crew on this one.

Edit to add: No offense intended, Nick, but you are a very long way from the area involved, and possibly not aware of the vagaries of weather in a very mountainous area. Forecasts in that area change drastically in as little as two hours, according to friends who sail in the area. I am sure that some of our WA & BC forumites can attest to this better than I.

Peerie Maa
11-28-2017, 04:38 PM
Why can the barge/tug go faster when pushed than the tug/barge towed?

It acts as one ships worth of resistance rather than two shorter ships for a start. That is not even getting into tow hawser strength and behaviour.

Chris Smith porter maine
11-28-2017, 04:38 PM
Why can the barge/tug go faster when pushed than the tug/barge towed?

That's one for mmd or Andrew, I just know from experience that it can.

Chris Smith porter maine
11-28-2017, 04:40 PM
That's one for mmd or Andrew, I just know from experience that it can.

Or Nick!

Peerie Maa
11-28-2017, 04:42 PM
I can see where it would be difficult to re-engage the barge when the seas are rough enough to decouple it in the first place. But I think Nick is arguing against the use of an ATB at all, rather than decrying the seamanship and decisions of the crew on this one.

No, providing all industry standard precautions are taken so that they do not get into weather where they are uncoupled in an unplanned uncontrolled manner that requires a salvage tug to prevent a pollution incident, I am not. However someone with that responsibility screwed up by having them set off into danger.

JimD
11-28-2017, 04:44 PM
I can see where it would be difficult to re-engage the barge when the seas are rough enough to decouple it in the first place. But I think Nick is arguing against the use of an ATB at all, rather than decrying the seamanship and decisions of the crew on this one.So I'm still a little confused by the terminology. This 'pusher tug' is pinned into the stern of the barge but not in the way an articulated system is set up? An articulated system does not allow the tug to 'pop out' of it pins the way a pusher system can, or something like that? I did a quick google on pusher systems and it seemed to suggest they are generally used in more benign conditions, such as canals and rivers. Does that seem about right?

Chris Smith porter maine
11-28-2017, 04:47 PM
When we pushed in the notch, we let out towline hooked to the barge so if we had to get out it was quick and easy.

gilberj
11-28-2017, 05:01 PM
The US uses a lot of Integrated "Tug and Barge" ITB's including coastal/offshore work. They have gone this route because the barge part is cheaper than a ship of the same capacity, and the tug requires fewer crew. Some of these have a "tug" which by it's self is barely seaworthy...the tug does not operate without the barge, really, ever...., as far as I know. they do it because it is cheaper....period. Some ITB's are built separately so the tug may work independently from time to time, change barges, or have the option of disengaging and taking the barge in tow at times....such as heavy weather.

As I understand it... in this case the barge broke adrift because they encountered some larger than usual wave action. I cannot speak with knowledge or authority, but I suspect the tug was not suited to towing, because reports only talked of attempts to reconnect, and they had to wait for another tug to take the barge in tow.

I'd like to mention the two seafarers who re-boarded the barge in heavy seas/gale force winds, who were able to drop the barge anchor(s)...very impressive seamanship and courage. They certainly saved the environment. The barge would have drifted ashore very soon I thing but for their action.

The Heiltsuk (https://www.heiltsuknation.ca/) First Nation were I believe, part of the decision making and solution in this case. All the involved Parties and Authorities worked well as far as I know. The response Organization...WCMRC were mobilized early on I believe

It was tough and there was real and deep concern on the part of all...both in Industry and the Environmentalists' and Government....

I personally get tired of some folks that spout conspiracy theories, and push uninformed misinterpretations of real information and/or intentional dis-information as some sort of immutable truth.
Or they assume the Government or Industry are simply out to screw with the rest of us. Maybe they do in some cases...I don't know, but I am pretty familiar with this industry, and everyone I know takes their greater responsibilities seriously. I do not know about your neck of the woods but I do not know of any-one that does not care.

Certainly a lot of tug/barge traffic moves through BC waters between Washington State and Alaska. Nearly all of it being tugs and barges....some towed and some pushed. My own personal opinion would be that this work would be safer on ships. Nobodies asking me.

mmd
11-28-2017, 05:06 PM
Chris has front-line experience with the mechanical niceties of an ATB, whereas my knowledge is more of a 'sit in the office and read tech papers on the critters' sort of experience. Well, that and a bit of sea time, too. Best to let Chris speak to how to hook into and out of an ATB.

However, I will say, from the benefit of the knowledge gained by spending a few years engaged in blue-water commercial voyaging, that not every thing that goes wrong on a ship can be attributed to human error. Sometimes sh!t just happens.

robm
11-28-2017, 05:16 PM
If they are using the Inside Passage, it is pretty much like being in a canal. However, there are some sections where it is necessary to run in more exposed conditions.

Our weather forecasts are nowhere near as good as Britain's. I was amazed at the amount of detail and the accuracy of the British forecasts when I was there in May. Ours are like: "its going to snow a lot tomorrow, 15 - 20 cm" - and what we get is 70 cm! Opposed to the precision that I found in British forecasts: "In this part of Scotland, it will rain until about 10:00 am, then gradually clear, with sunshine after 3:00 pm" . They were almost always correct qualitatively, and precise for timing within an hour or 2.

Peerie Maa
11-28-2017, 05:21 PM
If they are using the Inside Passage, it is pretty much like being in a canal. However, there are some sections where it is necessary to run in more exposed conditions.

Our weather forecasts are nowhere near as good as Britain's. I was amazed at the amount of detail and the accuracy of the British forecasts when I was there in May. Ours are like: "its going to snow a lot tomorrow, 15 - 20 cm" - and what we get is 70 cm! Opposed to the precision that I found in British forecasts: "In this part of Scotland, it will rain until about 10:00 am, then gradually clear, with sunshine after 3:00 pm" . They were almost always correct qualitatively, and precise for timing within an hour or 2.

Route planning taking account of good weather forecasts is normally an insurance requirement for a marine tow. Some underwriter is not going to be happy.

Chris Smith porter maine
11-28-2017, 05:37 PM
6590

Primitive towing gear at best, what I would call a rope boat.

gilberj
11-28-2017, 06:50 PM
Weather forecasts on the west coast are very much complicated by the geography. Weather coming off the ocean is reasonable well organized and easy to predict. By the time it winds its way around mountains and through valleys things get more difficult. Where a lot of places can have a reasonably good forecast several days in advance, the inside of this coast is seldom more than generally correct, more than a day or so in advance.

JimD
11-28-2017, 07:16 PM
More on the story : https://www.facebook.com/heiltsuk.council/?hc_ref=ARS34hl9wP_Ct_1lLqVb-BgczQNksqOFETJQaC-bV4-A0CB3lJp50FbNbw-66uaeayA


This incident began to unfold when the pins connecting the Jake Shearer to its barge broke, releasing the barge near Goose Island. Crew members on board the barge dropped an anchor which held until the Gulf Cajun arrived to hook up tow lines.

We need more than luck and a single anchor line to prevent potential disasters.

https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/24068228_1896197520394476_5354740081680168122_n.jp g?oh=105fa140f3c6dcdc7490eafa8b649af9&oe=5AA02B91

The Jake Shearer



https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/24059093_1896197517061143_5527595952702070298_n.jp g?oh=081348b14bc1b7313f2e4ed82d28efe9&oe=5A92DCC4

The Gulf Cajan that came to assist

https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/23905694_1896197543727807_325754171664964586_n.jpg ?oh=8177d6a4b68f0a864ad6e825ec6c427d&oe=5A9A14B8

mmd
11-28-2017, 07:20 PM
Thank you, gilberj; you have confirmed with local knowledge what I was attempting to convey earlier.

Chris Smith porter maine
11-28-2017, 08:01 PM
Old Gulf Fleet anchor general purpose tugboat, when I worked for Otto Candies that company and that boat were rivals, we were competing with turbo 12 cyl emds with turbos, the blown 16 cup were much more reliable, Candies made the change in the early 80's, not really a deep water boat more a hard towing coastal girl.
Notice the track with a true towing setup, let's get out of these islands and pull 8 knots, I can't remember the winches Gulf Fleet used at Otto Candies we used Markeys

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:455547/mmsi:369081000/imo:7511981/vessel:GULF_CAJUN

JimD
11-29-2017, 11:39 AM
From an article dated yesterday:


The Jake Shearer is an articulated tug barge or ATB, similar in design and capacity to the Nathan E. Stewart, which crashed in Heiltsuk waters 13 months ago. Unlike the Stewart, which was pushing an empty fuel barge, the Jake Shearer is pushing a barge laden with oil products. Combined with the fuel onboard the tug itself, the vessel is carrying more than 3.4 million litres of diesel fuel.The Jake Shearer is approximately 900m away from Gosling rocks south of Goose Island. The waters around these shoals are popular fishing grounds for the Heiltsuk, and its rocks and kelp forests provide refuge for countless marine mammals including seals, sea lions, porpoises, and dolphins.
The weather, already difficult, is expected to worsen tomorrow with winds predicted to rise to 35-45 knots in the morning, increasing to 40-50 knots by the afternoon.

https://watershedsentinel.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Gulf-Cajun-towing-the-Zidel-277.jpg



https://watershedsentinel.ca/articles/7249/