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Crews continue clean-up after fuel spill

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A lot of crews on and around English Bay today continuing to clean up after this week’s fuel spill.

The Coast Guard says on-water operations are nearly complete and that they are focusing on shoreline cleanup this afternoon.

But Assistant Commissioner Roger Girouard is once again asking people to steer clear of the beaches and leave the cleanup to the professionals.

“We are not dogging it I assure you. Tide heights, weather; all of those apply to how we go about this. We have the professional teams out there. They are confident that what is on the beaches will be sorted out as we get through the rest of this,” he explains. “We have everything we need at this moment in time to address both the wildlife and the beach clean-up, frankly we have checked with all of our coordination teams we do not need volunteers to do beach clean-up at this time.”

“There are a number of vessels on the anchorage and so one of our activities out there is to check each of the vessels and see if there is any hull soiling and work on the decontamination process before any of those vessels come into port. We are working very tightly with Port Metro.”

The coast guard says any recoverable oil from the water has been retrieved. Contamination has been found on New Brighton Beach near the Second Narrows Bridge. Three birds are being decontaminated.

Transport Canada’s Yvette Myers says they’ve had a team of investigators on the offending vessel, the MV Marathassa, since Thursday. “They have been able to isolate the source of the pollution continuing to monitor the situation. We’ve had divers out each day, diving the hull, making sure there that is no further pollution coming from the vessel.

Myers notes they are also checking on the spill from the air. “We have an aircraft called the NAS, she has very specialized equipment on board so she is used a few times a day to overfly the area. She has the equipment and capability to determine where the pollution is and what quantities there are.”

She adds the owners are co-operating with the investigation and is confident the polluter will handle the costs of the cleanup.