Transportation Safety Board investigating after bulk carrier runs aground in Belledune
SBI Carioca was carrying 65,000 metric tonnes of petroleum coke, no one injured
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating after a bulk carrier ran aground in Belledune, N.B. on Wednesday morning.
The SBI Carioca was carrying about 65,000 metric tonnes of petcoke — a coal-like material produced during the oil refining process — when it hit a shoal at the entrance of the northeastern New Brunswick village shortly before 8 a.m., said Pierre Murray, TSB's regional manager of operations for the Atlantic region.
None of the 23 crew members were injured and no pollution "whatsoever" resulted, he said.
As far as we know, the vessel just got stuck on that shoal.- Pierre Murray, TSB
"The hull is not breached," so no water is leaking into the ship and nothing is being released from the ship, but the extent of damage to the ship is not yet clear.
"As far as we know now — and this very preliminary information — as far as we know, the vessel just got stuck on that shoal, which is not a rocky shoal, it's a shoal more like mud or gravel or sand," said Murray.
Two TSB investigators from Dartmouth, N.S., are expected to arrive at the scene around 8 p.m., he said.
They will interview the crew and gather information from the voyage data recorder (VDR), which is similar to the so-called black boxes on airplanes.
Murray expects it could take at least a couple of days to determine the cause, depending on how many people need to be interviewed and the amont of paperwork involved.
The crew will remain on board, he said.
Groundings not uncommon
The ship was travelling from Norfolk, Va., under the flag of the Marshall Islands, according to the Marine Traffic website.
Belledune was its destination, said Murray.
"It's not the first time, it won't be the last time a ship runs aground," he said.
"I wish I could tell you it's not common, but we have groundings happening on a regular basis all over the country, all over the world. There's groundings happening all the time."
The SBI Carioca was plying the Gulf of St. Lawrence at a maximum recorded speed of 14.1 knots and an average of 11.3 knots during the trip, according to the website.
The vessel, built in 2015, is 229 metres long and more than 32 metres wide.
It has a gross tonnage of 43,301 and deadweight tonnage of 81,262.
The Transportation Safety Board is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation incidents.
Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety, not to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.