Two freighters that collided

Investigation into freighter collision reveals ongoing dangers Southern Gulf Islands

The results from a Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigation are in. On March 30, 2020 a 200 metre cargo ship dragged anchor in high winds and collided with another ship in Plumper Sound (between Mayne, Saturna and Pender Islands). The anchor chains from both ships became entangled. This account of how quickly things went from bad to worse is chilling and illustrates why these giant ships do not belong in the Southern Gulf Islands.

“It demonstrates how quickly something can happen regardless of the intentions to deal with that situation” – Robert Lewis-Manning, the president of the B.C. Chamber of Shipping.

This marine Transportation Safety Board of Canada report said that between January 2015 and March 2020, there were 102 incidents of ships dragging anchors along B.C.’s coastline which can result in collisions, groundings or other emergencies.

A CBC News article reflected our perspective that the report failed to suggest any substantial changes to current practices, and did not recognize that the risk for fuel spills is exacerbated in the Gulf Islands where ships anchor in close vicinity to shore and environmentally sensitive areas. We hope positive progress can be made by further education on the issues.

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Time for Transport Canada to step up and put an end to this threat to the Southern Gulf Islands. See how you can help here.