M/V Marathassa released by Transport Canada
Cargo ship could head to a berth for loading before departing Vancouver area
The cargo ship M/V Marathassa — which has been blamed for spilling several thousand litres of bunker fuel into English Bay — has been released this morning by the Canadian Coast Guard.
Around 6 a.m. PT, the vessel headed to a berth in Vancouver Harbour to be loaded with grain before departing on its next voyage.
The coast guard ordered the ship to remain at anchorage after the oil spill was detected two weeks ago. It was surrounded by a boom while crews worked to clean up the oil.
"This material will be carefully collected by crews and cleaned. While this operation is ongoing, pollution response equipment will be standing by to respond to any potential further release."
The hull of the vessel was cleaned to remove oil, but the coast guard says "a minimal amount of bunker C fuel — much like a bathtub ring at the vessel water line — remains adhered to the vessel's hull."
"The incident command science and environment teams have concluded that further efforts to remove this ring would necessitate the use of chemicals which was deemed to be unacceptable to partner agencies represented at incident command."
Transport Canada is taking several measures to ensure the vessel does not further pollute Canadian waters.
"The vessel will be able to move on its own power, but be escorted by an environmental response vessel. In the unlikely event of an oil release during transit, this escort will be ready to capture it," said the statement.
The ship, which is flagged in Cyprus, was on its maiden voyage from Japan when a mechanical failure resulted in the accidental discharge of an estimated 2,700 litres of fuel into English Bay on April 8.
The Marathassa is now being docked by the grain terminals in North Vancouver. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbc?src=hash">#cbc</a> <a href="http://t.co/3BPl73YPmz">pic.twitter.com/3BPl73YPmz</a>—@vancbcmcarthur