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Transportation Safety Board to investigate sunken tug in B.C.’s Howe Sound

A Western Canada Marine Response Corporation near Gibsons, B.C., where a tug sank on Oct. 1, 2019.
A Western Canada Marine Response Corporation near Gibsons, B.C., where a tug sank on Oct. 1, 2019. B.C. Spill Response

The Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of investigators to look into the sinking of a tug boat in B.C.’s Howe Sound.

The board says in a statement that the tug Sheena M capsized and sank on Oct. 1, not far from the BC Ferries terminal in Langdale.

The Canadian Coast Guard spokeswoman said there were two people aboard the tug and both got out unharmed.

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A coast guard statement after the sinking said the tug, which remains at the bottom of Howe Sound, had about 1,000 litres of diesel and 200 litres of oil aboard when it sank.

The B.C. government’s spill incident overview says Western Canada Marine Response Corp. deployed a boom around sensitive, high-priority areas near the incident site to protect resources at risk.

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A flyover by Transport Canada on Oct. 3 found 10.1 litres of unrecoverable fuel at the site and surrounding area. Another surveillance operation the following day found 1.6 litres of sheen on the water.

The overview says a search days after the sinking by wildlife specialists and members of the local First Nation found no oiled or distressed wildlife, and no oil on the shoreline.

The cause of the sinking is not yet known.

—With files from Sean Boynton, Global News

Efforts to remove sunken tug from the Fraser River continue
Efforts to remove sunken tug from the Fraser River continue