Salvage plan for barge that ran aground on Quadra Island under review
QUADRA ISLAND - Officials are working to refloat and assess a barge that ran aground and compromised its hull on Quadra Island, B.C.
Transport Canada says in a statement that it is reviewing a salvage plan and once the barge is refloated, it will be towed to a facility in nearby Campbell River on Vancouver Island for repairs, if necessary.
The Campbell River lifeboat station will monitor the refloating operation and Transport Canada says one of its own inspectors will look over the barge once it is anchored.
The Canadian Coast Guard says in a statement it received a report just before 8 p.m. Saturday that a barge being towed by a tug had grounded north of Cape Mudge.
Quadra Island resident Sarah Boyes told CTV News that she was at home when the barge struck land.
"The whole place shook: the rock shook, the house shook and it went from 20 to 30 seconds," Boyes said. "There was this huge, really scary metallic dragging sound."
"As I got to the window you could see it happening, you could hear the shouts of male voices, and it sounded like they were on the barge saying, 'Whoa, help, stop!' all drowned out by this metallic sound."
According to the Canadian Coast Guard, the tug was not damaged and all six people aboard are safe and were unhurt.
But the hull of the barge, called the Nana Provider, was compromised so plans to refloat the carrier were halted.
On Monday, the coast guard said the barge remained stable overnight and no operational activities took place.
It says the salvage plan was developed by the responsible party, that is also lining up local resources to assist with salvage work once the plan is reviewed.
The barge is carrying empty rail cars and containers on its deck.
The coast guard is monitoring the scene but says there is no sign of any marine pollution.
Vessels in the area are asked to keep a safe distance of just over 300 metres away to avoid interfering with assessment and salvage efforts.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2019.