Clean up squads are clearing hundreds of tons of oily sludge from Vancouver Harbour and its shores. 200 tons of oil and 50 tons of light fuel gushed from the English freighter Erawan, after it was involved in a collision on Tuesday (September 25th) with a Japanese container ship, the Sun Diamond.
Aerial view damaged freighter (2 shots)
Aerial view oil slick
SV and CU Men look at lumps of oil on beach (2 shots)
GV Men feed out oil trapper.
GV and Long View men on Beach Town oil trapper (2 shots)
Aerial view both ships in harbour damaged freighter damaged freighter in foreground.
LV and CU damaged freighter (4 shots)
Tilt up damaged bow of Japanese ship.
SV Tug drags out oil slick trapper.
SV and CU hole in freighter (6 shots)
GV Damaged freighter.
Initials APSM/0.17 APSM/0.35
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Clean up squads are clearing hundreds of tons of oily sludge from Vancouver Harbour and its shores. 200 tons of oil and 50 tons of light fuel gushed from the English freighter Erawan, after it was involved in a collision on Tuesday (September 25th) with a Japanese container ship, the Sun Diamond.
The two ships collided early on Tuesday morning near the entrance of the harbour. The Erawan was bound for Vancouver with ballast - the Sun Diamond was heading out loaded with general cargo in containers. The cause of the collision is not clear - the bow of the Japanese ship sliced into the hull of the Erawan, and nearly cut it in half. The vessels were jammed together for almost an hour, before tugboats came to the rescue. Then the battle to contain the greasy flow began. Loops of plastic material were drawn around the English ship to hold the oil in the hull, and chemicals sprayed onto the surrounding waters.
By mid-afternoon the leakage had stopped, but oil streaks marked a large section of the harbour. The task facing the Ministry of Environment, which is co-ordinating the clean up, is to soak up the fuel with straw or peat moss, or to break it up chemically.
SYNOPSIS: The British freighter Erawan lies in Vancouver harbour after a collision with a Japanese container vessel, the Sun Diamond. The two ships met near the entrance to the Harbour early on Tuesday morning.
The English freighter gushed hundreds of tons of oil into the waters of the Harbour. Two hundred tons of oil and fifty tons of light fuel spread out in long slicks over the water, and slid onto the beaches surrounding the Harbour. The clean up operation began immediately.
The flow was stopped at its source, and chemicals sprayed onto the water. In the last few days the clean up squads from the Department of the Environment have been faced with the task of breaking down the oil pollutant with straw or peat moss.
The cause of the collision is not clear - the bow of the Japanese ship sliced into the hull of the Erawan, nearly cutting it in half. The two ships were jammed together for almost an hour. Then the first concern was to stem the flow.
The bow of the Sun Diamond lay twisted and torn from the impact, as the undamaged tanks of the English ship were sealed off, and the clean up began.
The Canadian Ministry of Transport would not speculate on how the ships collided on what appeared to be a clear and starlit night. Both ships had Canadian pilots on board. The Sun Diamond was heading out of the Harbour loaded with general cargo, the Erawan was loaded with ballast. An investigation into the accident is under way.