Tanker Spills Diesel Fuel off Quebec

A chemical/oil products tanker spilled some 3,000 litres of diesel during a routine fuel transfer near the community of Salluit, West of Ungava Bay, in Northern Quebec, on October 7.

The 2007-built Sarah Desgagnés was transferring fuel to the community of Salluit in preparation for the winter months ahead. Strong winds and snow required the transfer be stopped for safety reasons. Following the standard emergency disconnect process, the fuel line was severed by the vessel’s propeller. At that time, the fuel transfer had already stopped. 

The Canadian Coast Guard was notified of the incident and dispatched its closest vessel immediately. The CCGS Terry Fox arrived on scene by 8:30 a.m. local time October 8 to engage in the response operation. No fuel has been found on the shore.

The CCGS Terry Fox and the Sarah Desgagnés have the necessary pollution response equipment on site to respond to this incident.

Impacts to the shoreline, fish and wildlife in the area are being assessed by Environment Canada. The fuel discharged in the water is expected to dissipate quickly. No observable sheen has been seen around the Sarah Desgagnés.

Under Canada’s Marine Pollution Preparedness and Response Regime, the polluter is always responsible for paying the cost of an oil spill cleanup, including third party damages. This means that if a ship causes a spill, its owner is liable for losses and damages.

The 18,000 dwt Sarah Desgagnes is operated by Quebec-based Groupe Desgagnés.

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