Fuel-laden barge stranded near Bella Bella, B.C.

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by Capilano, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. Capilano

    Capilano Active Member

    Lets hope this barge does not break away and start leaking.

    Maritime rescue officials say a U.S. barge with millions of litres of diesel fuel onboard has become stranded off the coast of Bella Bella, B.C.

    The vessel, which the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Victoria (JRCC) has not identified, broke free from the tugboat which pushes it from behind around 3:45 p.m. PT Sunday.

    The JRCC says the vessel is carrying 3.5 million litres of diesel along with 468,000 litres of gasoline.


    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fuel-barge-off-coast-of-bella-bella-bc-1.4420713
     
  2. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    That's alot of fuel. It would devastate the environment if it breaks away and starts leaking. Hopefully it stays anchored and off the rocks... Wonder what caused it to break away since it's the type that is pushed from behind? Let's hope it isn't too serious.
     
  3. cuttlefish

    cuttlefish Well-Known Member

    Lets hope it is resecured and towed away from those rocks. I'm sure it was out there instead of travelling up the inside passage past Bella Bella because of the 2016 incident in Seaforth Channel but still wondering why, in 4.5 metre seas, the tug was pushing the barge instead of towing it and why they were only 1.6 kms from the coast in those conditions.
     
  4. cuttlefish

    cuttlefish Well-Known Member

    Must be a zero missing wrt the length of the barge. Hard to squeeze 4 million litres into a 12 metre barge.
     
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  5. california

    california Well-Known Member


    Its 131 meters long, just launched last June, so its brand new, hopefully means its double hulled. The article has been updated with a picture of it.
     
  6. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  7. Capilano

    Capilano Active Member

    Hopefully they get that barge underway and moved as there is a storm warning for that area today and tomorrow.

    Storm warning in effect.
    Wind southeast 25 to 35 knots increasing to southeast 35 to 45 early this afternoon and to southeast 45 to 55 early this evening. Wind veering to southwest 40 to 50 after midnight then diminishing to west 30 to 40 early Tuesday morning. Wind diminishing to west 25 Tuesday afternoon.
     
  8. Fishtofino

    Fishtofino Well-Known Member

    Apparently they saved it from disaster this afternoon.
    This time.......
     
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  9. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    I am hearing that the pins that connected the tug to the barge parted. This was a Integrated/Articulated Tug-Barge (ITB/ATB) unit - similar to the Nathan E. Stewart. Just wondering if we need some attention to the waiver that Pacific Pilotage applies to these units. Seems to be a high number of recent failures on the coast using these ITB/ATB units.

    In July 1994, the Coroner's Inquest into the collision between the tug-barge unit "ARCTIC TAGLU"/"LINK 100" and the fishing vessel "BONA VISTA" accident made a number of recommendations. It recommended that the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) "review the various tug boat-barge configurations so that they are licensed in a manner under which they will be required to have navigation lights that will demonstrate their size and the direction in which they are travelling." as well as to "review vessel manning standards to make certain that the manning of large composite units is adequate for the size of such composite units and for the conditions under which they are operating."

    http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/marine/1993/m93w1050/m93w1050.asp

    Yet, the Pacific Pilotage Authority still issues wavers for these barges: http://www.ppa.gc.ca/text/publications/PPA Pilotage Waiver Standard of Care September 15 2017.pdf

    Why are we seeing these accidents?
     
  10. Tugcapitan

    Tugcapitan Well-Known Member

    Really? Surely you’re not comparing the Nathan E Stewart where some guy fell asleep, to an ATB pin failure, and then adding both incidents together to come up with a “high number”?;)
     
  11. Tugcapitan

    Tugcapitan Well-Known Member

    Or was it this 24 year old incident where the fishing boat altered course right in front of the Taglu to unsuccessfully pass in front of it.
     
  12. Tugcapitan

    Tugcapitan Well-Known Member

  13. Tugcapitan

    Tugcapitan Well-Known Member

    Good question. Don’t we all wish there was a better answer than “shit happens”
    We try to get better, we learn.
    Have to say, without really knowing anything about this incident, I’m pretty impressed with the crews actions to get that thing anchored in crappy conditions and save the vessel and the Goose islands from pollution. Good job no?

    I heard a lot of people on talk shows today spouting off about how we need to get rid of these designs.... as if a tankers better because it’s rudder can’t fail, or the engine quit, or who knows what else.

    There are ATB’s that successfully voyage in 7 to 9 meter seas no problem, so 3 to 4 shouldnt have been a problem for a good design. Maybe it wasn’t a good design? We’ll see, it will take a while though.
     
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  14. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your responses TC. Always appreciate experienced input.

    No - my thoughts were more on the focus of comparing traditional tug n tow to these (ITB/ATB) units - which as I understand it - were originally designed for sheltered waterways like the Misssissippi - where they need to turn quickly. Is this the best design and operations for our coastal waters? I dunno. Yes I am very happy the crews dropped the hook in time - and we dodged that bullet - but maybe you can provide some experienced opinions here wrt the operations of these units? What is your opinion of the suitability of these units operating on the BC coast?
     
  15. california

    california Well-Known Member

    The ZM 277 barge was brand new, just launched in June 2017, and was built in Oregon, so you would think it incorporates the latest technology and be designed for west coast conditions. Maybe as Tugcapitan says "shit happens", unfortunately both times in the same area. Isn't it also possible traditional tug n Tow can have barges break loose in bad weather, are they any more reliable?
     
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  16. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Ya - does raise the questions:
    1 - why did the pins break, then? (rumour so far, but likely to be true),
    2/ is it too rough for these (ITB/ATB) unit tugs on the open BC coast?, and
    3/ wasn't there a back-up to this happening wrt tow attachment?
     
  17. Tugcapitan

    Tugcapitan Well-Known Member

    I personally find it unlikely the pins broke. Admittedly I know nothing about this particular tug design (wouldn't be too hard to find out I imagine, our designs are all touted in Western Mariner, I'm sure Americans do the same thing), but my initial reaction was hydraulic failure, or computer pins system incorrect command. IF they had pins at all, I know there are some new track and rail designs out there too, remains to be seen. Odd though that most pins designs feature a "fully deployed" mode during hydraulic failure, so, still many things to find out. Like I said before, the merits or failure from a design stand point will take quite a while to discover.

    The reason companies have been moving towards ATB designs for fuel barges is efficiency. Pushing a barge is more efficient hydrodynamically, and thus more fuel efficient (and faster, every little bit counts big time over the lifetime of the unit). On our West coast you primarily see American ATB designs, but the biggest Canadian flagged fuel barge on our coast is an ATB design. They took a large ocean going tug from the 60's, spent a fortune converting it to run huge pins out the sides, which fit into the "teeth" of a notch at the stern of its matched purpose built barge. When the barge was picked up from China, they pushed it back across the Pacific deeming it safer than towing even though both the barge and tug were designed to be towed if necessary. That unit has seen some serious water across the Pacific, all up and down North Americas Coast, all over our Coast, and into the Arctic. No-one would have considered towing over pushing for safety in weather. With that design there would be more "weak" points towing than pushing. Would you rather hang something from a string or bolt it together? The old way used to be, tow your fuel barge to it's destination, and then stop and switch to push mode for the landing, which left you in the vulnerable position of not being towing or pushing while you switched from one mode to another, all with wires on drums instead of purpose built pin systems. (You have to realize some of these pins are the size and shape of a stop sign, but 10 feet long and made out of steel)

    Interestingly enough though, the ATB design has proven itself SO efficient and safe that they are now designing the combinations without the ability to tow even if they wanted to. The tug hulls are now so efficient at the back of the barge, that they have lost their ocean going abilities as a stand alone tug. High centers of Gravity to see over the barge, and shallow drafts for hydrodynamics. Not the kind of thing you would want to tow with at all (they aren't even installing towing wire winches on the tug's sterns anymore!). Is this a mistake? I don't know, its above my pay grade to make those decisions. Most of these barges have emergency towing wires leading from the bow to the stern where they are connected to the tug in the event of an emergency break away. Ironically though, if it breaks away in heavy weather, the last place you want to be is in front of that barge with only a barge lengths worth of towline out, you want that thing at least a quarter mile behind you in the rough stuff. Again though, these things are designed to be safer than towing in the rough stuff. The evidence is right in front of us. ATB's are more expensive to design and build, but the companies hauling the most sensitive stuff (fuel), are all moving to ATB designs. If any of those companies imagined towing was a safer option in rough weather they wouldn't be moving into ATB's.
    As @california pointed out, there are way too many "barge broke loose" from the towline stories on this coast. This is the first ATB break up I've heard of here on our coast. The talk shows on the radio yesterday though when everyone who called in seemed to be an expert, mentioned other failures from the states, but it wasn't supported by facts, so maybe, maybe not I don't know.
     
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  18. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

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  19. Tugcapitan

    Tugcapitan Well-Known Member

  20. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    I have no idea how the pin system works but this picture of the aft end of the barge shows very large v-slots I assume for pins? Plus winch drums and cables so pretty surprised the barge could part from the tug

    Barge.PNG
     
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