The Canadian Coast Guard on April 21 released the cargo ship M/V Marathassa found responsible for spilling thousands of litres of oil into the English Bay.
Under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, Transport Canada directed the vessel to remain at anchorage while the response to the spill was ongoing.
Transport Canada’s investigation into the spill found that the spill had been caused by mechanical problems on board the ship.
After the Canadian Coast Guard reached the end of its role in ensuring the decontamination of the vessel, the vessel was released to its operations.
At this point, jurisdiction over the operations of the vessel in Canadian waters transfers from the Canadian Coast Guard led Incident Command to jurisdiction under Transport Canada.
The vessel was cleared for movement into a berth at Port Metro Vancouver, where Transport Canada will inspect the vessel to ensure any safety deficiencies have been rectified.
Transport Canada has prescribed a variety of measures to ensure the vessel does not further pollute while in Canadian waters. The vessel is able to move on its own power, but is escorted by an environmental response vessel. In the unlikely event of an oil release during transit, this escort will be ready to capture it.
Cleaning of the vessel hull was undertaken to ensure removal of oil. A minimal amount of Bunker C fuel remains adhered to the vessel’s hull.
The Incident Command Science and Environment teams have concluded that further efforts to remove this ring would necessitate the use of chemicals which was deemed to be unacceptable to partner agencies represented at Incident Command.