Drifting Of Two Deep Sea Ships In British Colombia Highlights Disaster Risks On Canadian Shores

The recent drifting of deep sea ships in British Columbia highlights the problem of ocean navigation as this region, laden with coastal dunes and rainforests, is prone to cargo accidents which aren’t restricted to oil tankers alone.

Since December, two ships MV CSL Tecumseh carrying 65000 tons of sand and gravel and GSL Eleni, have drifted in the area. The two ships lost control near Vancouver Island within five days of each other. 

The containership Eleni had a rudder jammed when it reported drifting while the Canadian Coast Guard was still looking for bulk carrier Tecumseh. 

Disaster Risks Canadian Shores
Image for representation purposes only

These ships often carry hazardous materials and risk polluting the marine environment if an accident happens. 

This is highlighted by Marcie Callewaert, a resident of Tofino island who monitors the marine traffic radio and witnessed the emergency operation on Dec 29 when Tecumseh was towed while Eleni was still missing from online vessel tracking sites. 

Marcie revealed how the tugboat captain Lauren Foss explained why he couldn’t tow the ship in distress because of a rough sea, which was getting dark. 

Although both the ships were successfully towed back to Victoria Harbor, where they were repaired, it pointed out the marine disaster risk of the area. 

Marine disasters like the 2016 Hanjin Seattle incident, where the owners had to pay for the clean-up of 100 lost containers in the Juan de Fuca Strait, further elucidate the point. The same happened when MV Zim Kingston blazed for days near Victoria, losing 100 containers of dangerous chemicals in October 2021. 

Investigation of the Kingston fire highlighted the problem of the region’s extreme weather conditions and how the trend of using large container ships is making Canadian shores prone to more accidents.

The report also noted how unprepared authorities in the area are in tackling such freight issues as they lack long-term salvage operation plans.

However, the two drifting in December showcase the improving conditions of Canadian emergency response by Transport Canada and the Coast Guard, which was confirmed by Coast Guard deputy commissioner Derek Moss who highlighted the change in protocols.

Maritime shipping policies in Canada are also changing as the country makes way for a concrete framework for marine pollution accidents. 

References: Canada Today, The Globe And Mail

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  1. You should maybe have a few more facts before writing an article about a topic you obviously know very little about.

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