Barge north of Tuktoyaktuk recovered after a year spent grounded on sandbar
Barge ran aground last year after coming free from tugboat in bad weather
The barge that had been grounded for about a year north of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., has been removed, according to the CEO of the Vancouver-based company that owns it.
Fathom Marine's "Investigator" barge came loose from its tugboat and ran aground near Toker Point — about 25 kilometres north of Tuktoyaktuk — in Sept. 2016.
Crews freed the barge a few days ago after a series of attempts over the past year were unsuccessful, explained Neils Gram, the CEO of Fathom Marine.
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"We were able to get some equipment on the beach and remove that sand from under the barge and deploy some airbags underneath it," Gram said. "Regrettably there are no manuals for this kind of thing, so it's always a bit of trial and error with your plan."
Investigator was carrying an estimated 50,000 litres of diesel fuel when it ran aground. Fathom removed that fuel and made the first attempt at removing the barge about a month after it happened.
The company previously said the fuel didn't spill and the barge's hull remained intact.
On Tuesday, Gram said the barge didn't have any negative effect on the environment where it had landed.
During the removal process last year, Tuktoyaktuk Mayor Darrel Nasogaluak wrote a letter to CBC North saying the company's efforts to remove the barge were "insufficient and ineffective" and showed the community needed to be better prepared for disaster response as Arctic marine traffic increases.
The Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation is holding a public meeting to discuss the matter on Sept. 18.
With files from Peter Sheldon