Responses from the RCMP, the Canadian Coast Guard, and Transport Canada have been made regarding the tug boat fatalities on Feb. 11. (Wainwright Marine Services Ltd./Facebook)

Responses from the RCMP, the Canadian Coast Guard, and Transport Canada have been made regarding the tug boat fatalities on Feb. 11. (Wainwright Marine Services Ltd./Facebook)

No long-term environmental threat from sunken Igenika tug: Coast Guard

Responses from RCMP, Transport Canada, and Canadian Coast Guard about sunken tug, Igenika

More than three weeks have passed and the Igenika tug boat remains at the bottom of the Gardiner Channel just outside of Kitimat in Haisla territory.

READ MORE: Two confirmed dead in tugboat capsizing near Kitimat

The sunken vessel claimed the lives of Troy Pearson from Prince Rupert and Charlie Cragg from the Vancouver area.

Judy Carlick-Pearson, widow of mariner Troy Pearson, is desperate to have the tugboat raised to get answers and to mitigate any environmental damage.

The Canadian Coast Guard said they’ve been monitoring the area using aerial flights but did not find any signs of marine pollution in the area. The last flight was conducted on March 10.

Hoping for more answers and rid the environmental hazard, a petition demanding the Canadian Coast Guard bring up the sunken tug boat from the ocean floor and inspected has nearly reached 10,000 signatures on Change.org.

However, the Coast Guard doesn’t believe there’s any environmental threat.

“Based on the science, experience, and a lack of marine pollution observed at the site of the incident, the Canadian Coast Guard, in consultation with Environment and Climate Change Canada, believes there is likely no long-term environmental threat from the vessel,” the Canadian Coast Guard told The Northern Sentinel.

The Coast Guard said they believe that at least some, if not most, of the fuel dissipated in the first 72 hours during the storm and added that they will continue to closely monitor the area.

“The Coast Guard continues to monitor the situation and work with the owner, the RCMP, Transport Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada as partners in the response,” the email stated. “An investigation into the sinking of the tug Ingenika will be conducted by the Transportation Safety Board,” Transport Canada stated in an e-mail to CBC.

READ MORE: Almost 10, 000 signatures petition to raise sunken tug, Ingenika

The RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard have also been working alongside one another throughout this investigation, however, no additional information from police has been released about the case.

“With respect to the tug boat fatality, the only update I have at this time is that the investigation is active and ongoing. I have no further information outside the initial release”, Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, media relations for the RCMP said.

Carlick-Pearson said the RCMP told her that they cannot afford to raise the sunken tugboat.

No comment has been made yet from Wainwright Marine regarding the petition.


 


jacob.lubberts@northernsentinel.com

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