Freight mishap illustrates danger of north coast waters, says MP

  • Oct. 14, 2009 7:00 a.m.

Northwest coast residents “dodged a bullet” this past weekend when a 187-metre bulk freighter suffered a steering mishap while running at full maneuvering speed and struck shore two hours out of Kitimat, says Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen. “What we know from the Canadian Transportation Safety Board is that the 40,000 ton (dead weight) vessel veered sharply starboard and hit the beach at a depth of 400 metres,” Mr. Cullen said. The incident occurred Sept. 29. Mr. Cullen noted that while no pollution entered the deep water, the incident serves as a wake-up call about the dangers of oil tanker traffic along the BC coast. He added that the incident speaks directly to why northwest residents are asking for an independent inquiry into Enbridge’s proposed twin pipeline project. Enbridge would transport 700,000 barrels of oil and condensate a day between Alberta and Kitimat, where a 14-tank storage terminal would receive about 225 ships yearly.