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

Children of the Japanese Canadian internment return to Tashme, for museum expansion

A replica of a tar paper shack and education space part of Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum expansion

20-bed emergency shelter to open in Hope in October

Supportive housing also planned for two lots on Old Hope Princeton Way, adjacent to the shelter

Fraser River First Nations say they aren’t getting their share of sockeye

Shortage is a result of decisions made by DFO, not a shortage of sockeye, complaint says

PHOTOS: Japanese-Canadians who built Highway 3 forever remembered with Mile 9 sign

A lesser-known part of B.C. history is the 1,700 Japanese-Canadian men who built highways in WWII

Hope arm-wrestler turned track and field star wins five medals at 55+ Games

Seven medals total coming back to Hope from golf and track and field events

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Arborist killed by fallen tree at Maple Ridge Golf Course

Was working near the 9th tee box of the golf course.

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read