WCMRC grows its fleet and spill response on the North Coast

Two new vessels were added in 2017 to cover oil spills from the Alaskan border to Haida Gwaii

As a coastal community, with an expanding port, ferries, fishing and pleasure crafts, and vessels carrying diesel to and from remote First Nations communities, having an effective spill response team is essential.

The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) has been in operation since 1976, and Prince Rupert is one of the three bases that provides spill response from the Alaskan border to Kitimat, Haida Gwaii, Bella Bella and other surrounding communities.

This year, the team received two new oil spill response vessels that are moored at the Cow Bay Marina — bringing the North Coast fleet to 10 vessels. The Kaien Sentinel is a 49’ landing craft, the largest in WCMRC’s fleet, and is designed to bring equipment and people to the beach to handle shoreline operations.

The second newest vessel is the 35’ Gil Sentinel landing craft, that can also provide booming and skimming support for on the water recovery operations.

North Coast area manager, Robert Stromdahl, has been with WCMRC for nine years and has seen the organization grow over the years.

“Prior to myself starting it just had casual employees and contractors that worked up here and we worked out of sea cans out in the industrial site and we had a couple of trailers and that was about it,” he said. Now, they have 11 full time employees, a dozen casual workers, and they have trailers out on Ridley Island and at Fairview Container Terminal, with another new vessel to be added to the North Coast fleet in 2018 or 2019 that will require more personnel.

The distinctive orange, blue and white identify the spill response vessels that dominates a large portion of the Cow Bay Marina. Before the Prince Rupert base received the two new vessels, the team spent two months responding to the diesel spill in Bella Bella in Oct. 2016.

In Prince Rupert, the crew has also responded to two responses, one was in July when a fire claimed a yacht, and the other was when a pleasure boat sunk at the marina.

“We’ve also done other responses in the harbour. A couple years ago there was an old bunker pipeline that was leaking and seeping into the ocean. We’ve done a number of responses in the area,” Stromdahl said.

The North Coast team also has a number of training programs, including working with coastal First Nations communities, on how to contains spills, retrieve it and work with skimmers.

WCMRC is 100 per cent industry funded, and with Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in the Lower Mainland, $150 million is being spent on 43 new vessels and barges to provide oil response for the project.

RELATED: HEART OF OUR CITY — OFF THE BEATEN TRAIL

 

North Coast area manager, Robert Stromdahl, has been with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) for nine years and this year, Western Canada Marine Response Corporation received two new oil spill response vessels.

Just Posted

WATCH: Going once, going twice… Rotary Auction gone!

The Prince Rupert Rotary club received $85K in donations and made $60k back in revenues

Prince Rupert’s Salvation Army receives $550 on a 550th celebration

The Indo Canadian Sikh Association of Prince Rupert will be celebrating their first Sikh Guru

The Northern View presents Santa Shops Here in Prince Rupert

More reasons to spend your shopping dollars locally

New band mayor elected in Lax Kw’alaams

Garry Reece Sr. will be replacing John Helin as band mayor

STORY & VIDEO: Crafty combo means even more entertainment at this year’s Kaien Island Craft Fair

Live music and food were 2019’s new arrivals at the popular event

Your Prince Rupert 55th Rotary Auction guide

Online guide to all the items up for bid before Monday’s live auction

Manitoba slams lack of detail on Indigenous child-welfare overhaul plan

The federal government has said the legislation will reduce the number of Indigenous children in care

Services needed for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients: doctor, advocates

More patients are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an earlier age

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read