Workers watch as a capsized tugboat is lifted from the Fraser river between Vancouver and Richmond, B.C., on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms

Capsized tug now out of the water at the mouth of B.C.’s Fraser River

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor capsized late Monday.

A tug that capsized and sank at the mouth of the Fraser River off Vancouver has been pulled from the water and officials say the next step will be determining how much fuel leaked from the vessel.

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor was hauling a loaded gravel barge on the north arm of the Fraser River not far from Vancouver International Airport when it capsized late Monday.

David Hoff with Ledcor Group, the operator of the tug, said Thursday that the vessel was lifted out of the water and crews would be draining potentially contaminated water from its hull.

“It’s called dewatering, so they will be pumping the water that is inside the tug to a special container on the barge,” Hoff said in a phone interview.

The barge, a large crane, divers and other specialized crew were needed to complete the operation, which officials had initially hoped would have wrapped up within a day of the sinking.

Hoff said the vessel’s hull would also need to be carefully checked.

“The dewatering will take a while and they will have to go in and inspect for damage and inspect the vessel before they start to move it,” he said.

If there’s no damage, the tug should float on its own, said Hoff, but environmental concerns and numerous approvals would be required before it could be moved upriver to a shipyard.

It remains unclear how much of the diesel fuel the tug was carrying was released into the river. A strong smell of diesel was noticeable near the spill site on Tuesday.

Dan Bate with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the amount of diesel lost is expected to be much lower than the 22,000 litres the tug was capable of carrying.

“We won’t have a better sense of that number until the tanks in the vessel are measured which will allow us to get a better number on the actual volumes leaked,” he said.

Hoff said earlier that as much as 600 litres of diesel had been recovered in the first 24 hours after the accident and Bate said diesel is considered to be a lighter fuel that can evaporate quickly.

The Transportation Safety Board said it also deployed a team of investigators to the site to gather information and assess the incident.

The board investigates marine occurrences to advance transportation safety, but does not assign blame or determine civil or criminal liability.

Related: Lift arrives to pull sunken tug boat from Fraser River

Related: ‘Faint fuel odour,’ ‘sheen’ seen on Fraser River beach after tug carrying diesel sinks

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Petition calls for appeal of Luke Strimbold’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says the former Burns Lake mayor’s case is under review

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

Banned from taking work involving young people for five years

Premier honours Smithers hydrologist with Legacy Award

David Wilford has been with the forestry ministry for 45 years

Vaping a real drag on student health, parents hear at Nov. 26 presentation

The event was billed as a chance to inform parents about the risks associated with teen vape use

Resident urges Town to create citizens’ climate council

In a letter to council Tina Portman says other jurisdictions have built similar “citizen assemblies”

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

University of Victoria researchers develop industry-changing ‘hyper-glue’

‘Cross-linking’ technology already playing a role in performance body armour

Most Read