UPDATE: Fuel spills from stricken tug, says coast guard

UPDATE: Fuel spills from stricken tug, says coast guard

Environmental Response Officer Amanda Greer with the Canadian Coast Guard looks for any signs of pollution July 27 from the sunken tugs near the Seaway International Bridge.   The Coast Guard has a team at the site to ensure a fast response to any pollution that might result from salvage operations.  Oil removal operations are expected to resume July 28th. Photo courtesy of the Canadian Coast Guard.

CORNWALL, Ontario – The recovery of fuel oil from a pair of sunken tug boats in the St. Lawrence River is expected to begin again this week.

But it wasn’t in time to contain a weekend spill.

The coast guard said Monday a small spill, less than 40 litres, came from the smaller of the two capsized vessels, LCM 131.

“The fuel was unrecoverable and created very light sheen which stretched as far as the marker buoy in the main channel, at the end of Pilon Island,” said Canadian Coast Guard Superintendent of Environmental Response, JJ Brickett. “No diesel made it as far as Colquhoun Island.  The contractor (ECRC) responded immediately, as did the Canadian Coast Guard.”

The Canadian Coast Guard said Monday the recovery effort is planned to resume Tuesday with the removal of fuel oil from the Lac Manitoba and LCM 131.

Earlier this month salvage plans were temporarily to ensure crew safety.

Marine traffic in and around the salvage operations has been suspended.

A safety zone has been established in the channel from the Seaway International Bridge to approximately 300 metres downstream.  Vessels are not permitted to enter, transit or anchor within this zone until operations are complete.

The wrecks appear to be stable and there has been only a minimal release of fuel oil to this point.

A “Do Not Consume Water” advisory has been re-issued for households on Hamilton, Pilon, Calquohoun and Dickerson islands by the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

Households on these islands should avoid intake of water, including swimming.  The use of bottled water from an approved source is an alternative. 

A similar advisory goes into effect in South Glengarry on Tuesday at 8 a.m. for residents whose private water system or small drinking water system draws water from the St. Lawrence River between Glen Walter and South Lancaster.

Any sightings of soiled wildlife along the St. Lawrence River, Cornwall area, should be reported.  A wildlife reporting hotline has been established and the number is (519) 583-1080.  Collect calls are accepted.

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