Initial Effort to Refloat Grounded Bunker Tanker on Canadian East Coast Unsuccessful

Wednesday January 11, 2017

The Canadian Coast Guard says the first attempt at towing a bunker vessel grounded off Nova Scotia failed Tuesday evening after frozen pumps prevented the salvage contractor from removing enough ballast water before tides became too low to refloat the vessel, Canadian media reports.

As Ship & Bunker previously reported, the Panama-flagged Arca 1 grounded off Little Pond on Sunday.

The ship, which is understood to have 15 tonnes of fuel onboard, is said to have been en route to Mexico from Montreal when it lost engine power and high winds pushed the vessel to shore.

McKeil Marine Ltd. (McKeil Marine), the salvage company responsible for the towing operation, is reported to have abandoned the effort around 7 p.m. Tuesday, with impending bad weather said to have led to further efforts to be postponed beyond today.

"The good news is ... there's no breaches in the hull. Watertight integrity is good," said Olous Boag, McKeil Marine's Vice President.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is said to have booms deployed around the vessel to protect against potential environmental damage.

The vessel's owner, Mexico's Petroil Marine SA (Petroil Marine) is noted to be responsible for the costs related to the tanker's removal.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is reported to be investigating the type and cause of the vessel's mechanical failure, as well as why the tanker was underway in a forecasted storm.