Diver airlifted following accident at navy shipwreck

Diver airlifted following accident at navy shipwreck

The diver was kept in the chamber while the barge was towed to Hartley Bay

A diver had to be airlifted from Hartley Bay in the Douglas Channel last week after sustaining a broken wrist and developing decompression sickness.

A Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre Victoria (JRCC Victoria) spokesman said the diver was part of a crew conducting dive operations on March 8 at the wreck of the U.S. Army transport ship Brigadier General M. G. Zalinski.

“This was a diving emergency aboard a barge that was working at the Zalinksi cleanup site,” said the spokesman. “The contractor working at the site contacted JRCC to let us know they had a diver that required a medevac.”

The Guardian, a vessel attached to RCM-SAR 70 (Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue) in Hartley Bay, sped to the wreck’s location to provide logistical support for the diver’s rescue.

The diver was brought to the surface by a rescue diver employed by the contractor, where he regained consciousness and was treated by a first aid crew before being loaded into a hyperbaric chamber located on the barge.

The diver was kept in the chamber while the barge was towed to Hartley Bay by the tug that was assisting in the dive operation.

“Helijet and Emergency Health Services picked him up and transported him to Prince Rupert. He was flown by EHS to Vancouver General Hospital,” said the spokesman.

The Zalinski, which sank in 1946 in the Grenville Channel in the Inside Passage, went down loaded with over 700 tonnes of bunker oil, ammunition and bombs that were destined for Alaska.

The ship sank to a depth of nearly 30 metres within 20 minutes of running aground on rocks nearly 90km from Prince Rupert, with no loss of life.

Starting in 2003 a number of oil slicks were spotted around the site of the wreck, which was located later that year. Divers descended to the wreck to plug leaks in the hull, but all operations were stopped when it was discovered that the Zalinski was carrying munitions.

Recovery operations continued in 2013 amid reports of more leaks, but the bulk of the bunker oil and the munitions still remain on board the Zalinski.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prince Rupert couple Alvin Tait and Loni Martin have postponed their wedding two times due to COVID-19 affecting the marriage rates in Prince Rupert. (Photo: supplied/L.Martin)
No marriages in Prince Rupert in 2021 so far

Weddings down 23.9% in P.R. since COVID-19 with B.C. wedding industry loss at $158 million

Three North Coast organizations are granted funding to promote multiculturalism and support anti-racism, Jennifer Rice MLA announced on April 8. Conrad Elementary School students recognized the first Black Shirt Day on January 15, 2021, to advocate for anti-racism. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
North Coast organizations to benefit from anti-racism funding

$944,000 granted in provincial funding to aid multiculturalism

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Heavy wet snow fell in Prince Rupert on April 7, making the dock a Rushbrook slippery for vehicles. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Three back-to-back weather systems with snow down to sea level

April showers are supposed to bring May flowers — but not in Prince Rupert.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Police are investigating after a man was shot Thursday, April 8 while sitting in a car in Vancouver. (Black Press files)
Man shot in Vancouver while sitting in a parked car: police

The victim is currently in critical condition. Police say no arrests have been made.

Teachers from SD42 and other districts in the Lower Mainland flocked to Surrey on Tuesday in the hopes of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. (Sheelagh Brothers/Twitter)
Don’t line up for vaccines unless asked to come, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

Social media post shows teachers lining up outside of Surrey clinic for leftover doses

Most Read