Sunken Tug Spills Fuel into St. Lawrence River

St Lawrence River

By Kayla Turner 2014-12-30 16:45:08

Pumping operations are ongoing at the Trois-Rivières port after tugboat Chaulk Determination sank on Friday, leaking fuel into the St. Lawrence River.

The Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada and the diving company Seamec have been on site since Friday afternoon, working to limit the damage caused by the leak.

The vessel was holding 22 tonnes of fuel when it sank. Since then, workers have been trying to stop the leakage of the diesel into the water and remove the fuel already in the water. Nine tonnes of diesel have been removed from the water since operations began.

The cleanup will take several days. The Coast Guard is working on a plan to get the tug back afloat, which is expected to be done by the end of December.

According to the Huffington Post, a spokesman for Quebec's environment ministry said the owner of the tug, Cai Marine, will foot the bill for the cleanup. However, the coast guard was called in when it was determined the company could not afford to pay the bill. At this point, it is unclear how much it will cost, or who will pay the final tab.

The port authority in Trois-Rivières said the leak could have been avoided, stating that the vessel’s owner had been notified several times about its hazardous condition.

No one was on the tug, moored in the port for several weeks, at the time of its sinking.

The environment ministry is still investigating the cause of the sinking and spill.