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Russian cargo ship towed to Prince Rupert

HAIDA GWAII (NEWS1130) – The emergency appears to be over but questions remain about a Russian cargo ship that was adrift off the northern coast of British Columbia.

The Simushir lost power Thursday night in rough seas near the Haida Gwaii archipelago, spurring fears it could drift ashore, break apart and spill hundreds of tonnes of bunker and diesel fueling the vessel.

A tug boat arrived Saturday night to tow the disabled ship to port, after a tow line from a Canadian Coast Guard ship snapped and set the ship adrift again.

The ship is now docked in Prince Rupert. If everything goes to plan, the ship will be in port for 48 hours for repairs.

Members of the Haida Nation and marine experts say the time it took to reach the stranded vessel is not good enough, especially when oil and gas exports could see a huge increase in ship traffic off the West Coast.