British Columbia

Environmentalists investigate Robson Bight wreckage

Several environmental groups will pay for an underwater look at sunken logging equipment in the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve off northeastern Vancouver Island.

Several environmental groups will pay for an underwater look at sunken logging equipment in the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve off northeastern Vancouver Island.

Greenpeace, the Living Oceans Society, Orca Lab and two whale watching companies said Friday that$40,000 had been raised to fund the investigation, which is due to begin Oct. 30.

Jennifer Lash of the Living Oceans Society said part of the probe will include sending a manned submersible to inspect the state of the potentially fuel-laden wreckage,which liesan estimated 350 metres below the surface.

The Canadian Coast Guard ruled out an underwater inspection after a technical assessment determined that several thousand litres of diesel from a sunken fuel truckprobably dissipated when the truck was crushed by the immensepressure and that diesel in other machines had also vented.

Greenpeace saidan underwater inspection is vital because no other place is as important to the northern resident orcas of Vancouver Island as Robson Bight.

On Aug. 20, a barge listed and accidentally dumped several pieces of logging equipment and a tanker truck carrying 10,000 litres of diesel fuel into Robson Bight, a protected killer whale habitat famed for its whale-rubbing beaches.

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