Workers watch as a capsized tugboat is lifted from the Fraser river between Vancouver and Richmond, B.C., on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms

Capsized tug now out of the water at the mouth of B.C.’s Fraser River

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor capsized late Monday.

A tug that capsized and sank at the mouth of the Fraser River off Vancouver has been pulled from the water and officials say the next step will be determining how much fuel leaked from the vessel.

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor was hauling a loaded gravel barge on the north arm of the Fraser River not far from Vancouver International Airport when it capsized late Monday.

David Hoff with Ledcor Group, the operator of the tug, said Thursday that the vessel was lifted out of the water and crews would be draining potentially contaminated water from its hull.

“It’s called dewatering, so they will be pumping the water that is inside the tug to a special container on the barge,” Hoff said in a phone interview.

The barge, a large crane, divers and other specialized crew were needed to complete the operation, which officials had initially hoped would have wrapped up within a day of the sinking.

Hoff said the vessel’s hull would also need to be carefully checked.

“The dewatering will take a while and they will have to go in and inspect for damage and inspect the vessel before they start to move it,” he said.

If there’s no damage, the tug should float on its own, said Hoff, but environmental concerns and numerous approvals would be required before it could be moved upriver to a shipyard.

It remains unclear how much of the diesel fuel the tug was carrying was released into the river. A strong smell of diesel was noticeable near the spill site on Tuesday.

Dan Bate with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the amount of diesel lost is expected to be much lower than the 22,000 litres the tug was capable of carrying.

“We won’t have a better sense of that number until the tanks in the vessel are measured which will allow us to get a better number on the actual volumes leaked,” he said.

Hoff said earlier that as much as 600 litres of diesel had been recovered in the first 24 hours after the accident and Bate said diesel is considered to be a lighter fuel that can evaporate quickly.

The Transportation Safety Board said it also deployed a team of investigators to the site to gather information and assess the incident.

The board investigates marine occurrences to advance transportation safety, but does not assign blame or determine civil or criminal liability.

Related: Lift arrives to pull sunken tug boat from Fraser River

Related: ‘Faint fuel odour,’ ‘sheen’ seen on Fraser River beach after tug carrying diesel sinks

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Unique treasures to be found at Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market

The 44th annual event is the Chilliwack Community Arts Council’s largest fundraiser

Chilliwack toy drive brings in gifts, money to Ann Davis Transition Society

People dropped by Superstore to donate toys and more for those in need this holiday season

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Nov. 18 to 24

Chilliwack RCMP find chemicals and cannabis extract in illicit lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Chilliwack RCMP seek suspects in rash of poppy donation box thefts

Incidents at four different locations in Sardis in the days leading up to Remembrance Day

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Vancouver Police look for man in connection to ‘sexually motivated’ assault

Woman says man followed her into an apartment building

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Most Read