10,000 Ton Texas Tanker traveling the B.C. Coast


#1

Posting on behalf of another HTMF member:

The Nathan E. Stewart/DBL 54 is an articulated tug/barge" (ATB) and is owned by the Texas-based Kirby Corporation, which is one of the largest petroleum product ATB operators in the USA. It travels back and forth up the B.C. Inside Passage by “special waiver" which exempts it from Transport Canada shipping regulations. These guide the movement of all other tankers operating in BC waters. As a result, it operates here with no Canadian pilots on board, it does not require escort tugs while maneuvering in Port Metro Vancouver, and most egregiously, it is allowed to travel north through Seymour Narrows and into the “voluntary tanker exclusion zone” that is the B.C. Inside Passage. As such, this unflagged foreign vessel blatantly flouts the concerns of the people of Canada, and operates here secretively without any social license whatsoever.

For more information, please sign up to my “10,000 Ton Tanker” Facebook page
*If you see the Nathan E. Stewart, take a picture with time and location and share on social media
#NathanEStewart #tankers #shipping @PortMertVan @Transport_gc


#2

Who granted this special waiver?


#3

Since the regs waived are part of “The Canada Shipping Act” I would guess it’s Harper or one of his goons.


#4

Very interesting. Either way the Inside Passage or the West coast of V.I. and Haida Gwaii could cause devastation if an accident were to occur, more though in the Inside passage. We also load rail cars with fuel on a barge here in Rupert that travels to Alaska.


#5

It doesn’t look it’s required to have a pilot as its only 116 tonnes.

Gross Tonnage: 116

tugboatinformation.com/tug.cfm?id=262

Although the combination of the tug/barge may or may not fall within this regulation:

“(7) For the purposes of subsections (3) to (6), if a ship is part of an arrangement of ships, then the combined tonnage of all the ships in the arrangement of ships is taken into consideration in determining whether the ship qualifies for a waiver of compulsory pilotage.”

“(3) Subject to subsections (4) to (6), the Authority may waive compulsory pilotage in respect of a ship under 10 000 gross tons if all persons in charge of the deck watch
(a) hold certificates of competency of the proper class and category of voyage for the ship that are required by Part 2 of the Marine Personnel Regulations;
(b) have served either 150 days of service in the preceding 18 months or 365 days of service in the preceding 60 months, of which 60 days must have been served in the preceding 24 months, at sea as a person in charge of the deck watch on one or more ships on voyages in the region or engaged in the coastal trade; and
© have served as persons in charge of the deck watch in the compulsory pilotage area for which the waiver is sought on one or more occasions during the preceding 24 months.”

laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regu … 4.html#h-9

Still, regardless of everything , I’d rather see this vessel commuting through the protected inside passage rather than through the treacherous open water to get to its destination.


#6

Well it bothers me or should I say it shocked me when a friend shared this with me last evening , I believe that this has gone on without too many Canadians especially West Coasters knowing anything about this . What could happen to our waters ?


#7

The last time this particular tug had engine trouble, it lost power and was drifting for quite some time before the (American) Coast Guard could assist. The only reason there wasn’t any harm done was because it was in open water, away from the coast, and could drift harmlessly without hitting the coast.

What happens when it loses power in the Inside Passage? Will the Canadian Coast Guard be there in time to prevent disaster?

Isn’t this the reason the “voluntary exclusion” exists for the Inside Passage?

tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/menu-4100.htm

[quote]In 1985, a voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone was created along the British Columbia coast. This zone applies to loaded oil tankers servicing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System between Valdez, Alaska, and Puget Sound, Washington. The Tanker Exclusion Zone extends from the shores of British Columbia westward. The zone was determined by calculating the worst case scenario using the drift rate of a disabled laden tanker and the time required for a suitable assist tug to arrive on scene. This exclusion zone was established through joint discussions of the Canadian Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard with the American Institute of Merchant Shipping before the National Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime was developed.

More than 300 tankers transit annually along the B.C. coast while respecting the Tanker Exclusion Zone (only laden tankers must stay west of the zone; tankers in ballast may transit within the zone). It is important to note that the Tanker Exclusion Zone does not apply to tankers travelling to or from Canadian ports.[/quote]

The tug isn’t far from Prince Rupert, BTW.


#8

If the tanker encounters heavy seas close to land I shudder to think about the devastation.


#9

Thank you for the info. I was focused on why it wasn’t piloted and that’s specifically what I researched.

“More than 300 tankers transit annually along the B.C. coast”

The reference provided was based on a 30 year old agreement and we have roughly 300 per year traveling by. Why then the focus on this one? I would assume that calmer waters inside the passage would reduce drifting and impact, and would result in a quicker response. If they head straight out to sea and past Haida gwaii you know that they’ll be screaming too. I don’t have a problem with this at all. Too many people are worried about too much these days. What a cynical bunch we’ve become.


#10

So just so we’re clear here, Crazytrain, you believe it’s safer for tankers to use the inside passage than adhere to the voluntary exclusion? And to think otherwise is cynical?

To recap: this tug was involved in an incident where it had to be rescued before (because of mechanical failure). The only thing that saved it was that it was in open waters. Our coast guard couldn’t respond adequately to an incident very close to Vancouver.

When both Canadian and American Coast Guard, and even the oil and shipping industries themselves think it’s best to stay in open water for safety, you think it’s cynical? You think Enbridge is being cynical when even they said they wouldn’t send tankers down the Inside Passage, as it wasn’t safe?

I’d like to know if you really do think like this, or do you just take the contrary opinion and stick to it? I’m trying to figure out what kind of logical steps you take to arrive at that conclusion. I’m serious.

You left out the next few words … "More than 300 tankers transit annually along the B.C. coast while respecting the Tanker Exclusion Zone "

Why would you leave that out?

[quote]
The reference provided was based on a 30 year old agreement and we have roughly 300 per year traveling by. Why then the focus on this one?[/quote]

Do you not understand that those 300 per year respect the exclusion zone? Are you consciously ignoring a fact that contradicts your position and trying to make it a fact that supports your position?

As recent incidents have shown, the response time hasn’t gotten better – it’s gotten worse.


#11

[quote=“MiG”]So just so we’re clear here, Crazytrain, you believe it’s safer for tankers to use the inside passage than adhere to the voluntary exclusion? And to think otherwise is cynical?

To recap: this tug was involved in an incident where it had to be rescued before (because of mechanical failure). The only thing that saved it was that it was in open waters. Our coast guard couldn’t respond adequately to an incident very close to Vancouver.

When both Canadian and American Coast Guard, and even the oil and shipping industries themselves think it’s best to stay in open water for safety, you think it’s cynical? You think Enbridge is being cynical when even they said they wouldn’t send tankers down the Inside Passage, as it wasn’t safe?

I’d like to know if you really do think like this, or do you just take the contrary opinion and stick to it? I’m trying to figure out what kind of logical steps you take to arrive at that conclusion. I’m serious.

You left out the next few words … "More than 300 tankers transit annually along the B.C. coast while respecting the Tanker Exclusion Zone "

Why would you leave that out?

[quote]
The reference provided was based on a 30 year old agreement and we have roughly 300 per year traveling by. Why then the focus on this one?[/quote]

Do you not understand that those 300 per year respect the exclusion zone? Are you consciously ignoring a fact that contradicts your position and trying to make it a fact that supports your position?

As recent incidents have shown, the response time hasn’t gotten better – it’s gotten worse.[/quote]

Whoa! Settle down. I’m not professing to be an expert. There is a lot of information out there and I’m learning on the fly. I may have mis-read the specifics of the exclusion zone and I’m not sure that I fully understand it even now. My point in referencing the 300 tankers per year is that with all of the fear out there that we haven’t had a serious event in years. Tankers seem to be a fairly safe method of transporting oil, although they do come with more of an environmental risk than other vessel traffic. We still hear about the Exxon Valdez as a case in point even though that was over a quarter century ago with 300 tankers a year going by annually, or almost 8000 since 1989. That’s our example for not having tanker traffic. Yet, air travel in the past two years has claimed hundreds of lives in multiple crashes and we carry on like they never happened. We’ll use fear to justify things when it serves our interests. When it doesn’t we turn a blind eye and carry on. I suppose at this point I would ask whether or not a barge and tug is considered a tanker and whether it applies to the exclusion or not. Fair question I believe. If you know the answer or can point us in the direction where it can be found, thanks. I appreciate the discussion.


#12

Because they haven’t been near the coast? Because the exclusion zone is working? The whole point of the zone is that when ships have trouble, there is more than enough time to respond before they drift near the coast.

I’ll repeat it again: this tug had an incident in the past where mechanical trouble caused it to be disabled. Luckily it wasn’t near land when it happened, and could drift for quite a long time before help arrived. It took the Americans 23 hours to reach the tug, but it was far enough off shore that it didn’t drift near land.

Had this happened in the narrow parts of the inside passage, what would be the result?

The 300 Tankers you keep mentioning weren’t in the inside passage. They respected the zone. The original video tries to make this point – this is the only tanker that isn’t respecting the zone.


#13

I get your points and you’re right. I’ve stated some incorrect things in this thread and perhaps I haven’t done a good enough job of explaining my personal thoughts. Again, about the cynicism, when a ship was adrift off of the west coast of the Charlottes last year there were complaints about how long the response took. And that was in open water. The fact that this vessel has had a breakdown in the past is really irrelevant in my opinion. Any vessel could have a breakdown. My car broke down last year. Does that make it a danger to the streets? I’ll agree with you that if the safest route for this vessel and barge is outside of the exclusion zone then that’s where it should be.


#14

Good discussion everyone. Just to add a bit more context to the so-called “tanker” discussion:

1/ What is a “tanker”? Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of what this means.
2/ The “voluntary” tanker exclusion zone was established (as I understand it) for VLCCs and other large tankers on the basis of tug response. Only a certain size/powered tug can provide support to these vessels - a certain amount of “bollard pull”. There are but only a few of these tugs around - and they are based in only a few locations. It takes time therefore - before that tug can arrive on scene. The “voluntary” tanker zone was designed to give that time before any disabled tanker went onto a beach and was punctured. Barges with so-called small tanker trucks or other approved containers - are in a different league wrt response availability and timing. Many communities throughout BC and AK rely on tug and barge delivered fuel products. This has been going on for years - as previously mentioned. What would happen if all barges with any amounts or types of hydrocarbons were successfully banned?
3/ There are different regulations wrt international waters, including the “Inside Passage” between AK and mainland USA (e.g.: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLoS). There is a “Right of Innocent Passage”. See:
admiraltylawguide.com/conven … part2.html
admiraltylawguide.com/conven … part3.html
4/ For me - the really important part is both the type and the amount of hydrocarbon transported, along with the associated “fate” and response ability for different products. Gas and diesel are actually low impact in comparison to other petroleum products (esp. crude and dilbit) and reasonably easy to clean-up in comparison. For me, this is the level of detailed debate we should be having.

Regards, all - and thanks for the opportunity to have an informed discussion…


#15

Crazy train seems to be skipping over this point a lot Mig…


#16

Don’t believe everything you watch on You-tube - Bubba.

From: tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/menu-4100.htm

“•Oil is moved mostly via the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Kitimat. In 2011, about 2.2 million tonnes of oil were shipped out of Vancouver. Much of this oil is transported in barges to and from communities along the B.C. coast. Varying quantities of oil are also carried on board container ships, domestic and international ferries, and other types of commercial and private vessels.
•There is a voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone off the B.C. coast that applies to loaded oil tankers servicing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System between Valdez, Alaska, and Puget Sound, Washington. This zone does not apply to tankers travelling to or from B.C. ports. See the “Voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone” section for additional information.
•Movement of tankers in the West Coast Inside Passage. Transport Canada implements a policy preventing tankers of over 40,000 tonnes deadweight (Deadweight: The mass that a ship can carry, representing the cargo, fuel, water and everything required for proper operation of the ship) from using the southern portion of the Inside Passage, specifically the Johnston Strait and Discovery Passage. These tankers are directed to the outside route for north/south transits. (The Inside Passage is a shipping route that follows passages between the islands and coastline of North America’s northwestern Pacific Coast. It extends from the Alaska panhandle to British Columbia and Washington State.)
•A federal moratorium off the coast of B.C. applies strictly to oil and natural gas exploration and development, not to tanker storage or movement.”


#17

This too: tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/menu-4100.htm#f

"Recommended Movement in the West Coast Inside Passage

Transport Canada implements a policy that prevents tankers of over 40,000 tonnes deadweight from using the southern portion of the Inside Passage, specifically the Johnston Strait and Discovery Passage. The Pacific Pilotage Authority enforces a policy that requires tankers of over 40,000 tonnes deadweight transiting the Haro Strait and Boundary Pass to use two pilots and a tug escort of suitable size.
"


#18

At 0:30s to 0:38s this guy states: “Canadians believe the BC Inside Passage is a tanker-free zone - that is written into the Canada Shipping Act”

Here’s the link to the CSA: laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts … lText.html

It’s not in there…

He adds text at the end from 2m:30s-2m:34s and states that the CSA s.189.2 states: “No person shall transport oil in a tanker in the areas of the sea adjacent to the West Coast of Canada, known as Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound”

Instead, s.189 of the CSA states: "189. If the Minister believes on reasonable grounds that a vessel may discharge, or may have discharged, a prescribed pollutant, the Minister may

(a) direct a vessel, if it is about to enter or is within waters to which this Part applies, to provide the Minister with any information that the Minister considers appropriate for the administration of this Part;

(a.1) direct a vessel that is required to have a shipboard oil pollution emergency plan under the regulations to provide him or her with any information concerning it and its implementation;
(b) direct a vessel that is required to have on board a declaration described in paragraph 167(1)(b) to provide information concerning it;
© direct a vessel that is within or about to enter waters in respect of which this Part applies to proceed through those waters by the route and in the manner that the Minister may specify; and
(d) direct the vessel to proceed to the place that the Minister may select, by the route and in the manner that the Minister may specify, and to
(i) unload the pollutant, or
(ii) moor, anchor or remain there for any reasonable period that the Minister may specify.

2001, c. 26, s. 189;
2005, c. 29, s. 30."

I have no idea of what he is talking about when he says the barge has a “special exemption”.


#19