Over a month ago the ATB Nathan E. Stewart went aground in the inside passage near Bella Bella BC. While her barge was luckily in ballast, the tug spilled roughly 65k in diesel fuel from her tanks, and is a total constructive loss. It’s not often that you happen to have someone on scene involved with a salvage job who is also a blogger, and a great one at that! Prepare for a photo overload, and a a great first hand description of a challenging salvage job.
I had been home a couple weeks from the San Francisco run and I was at Crawford’s Nautical School taking a course, when the office called with another last minute, hurry up job. Our job was to tow the D.B. General derrick barge to be used in the salvage of the Nathan E. Stewart.
Early on the morning of October 13, 2016 the Kirby ATB tug and barge ran aground at the entrance to Seaforth Channel approx. 8 miles from the central British Columbia town of Bella Bella. The site is just as you would enter Seaforth channel from sea coming in from Queen Charolette Sound and Hecate Straight. With a westerly or southwesterly swell the site is fully exposed to breakers and surge. (sorry for the sideways photos below – I tried everything I could think of to fix it)
Position in the rocks
An articulated tug and barge…
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