A boat sinking in Cowichan Bay has left a sheen of pollution on the water. (submitted)

Boat sinks in Cow Bay leaving sheen of pollution

Coast Guard responds, but finds only one vessel that required assistance

Several vessels in Cowichan Bay broke free from their moorings as a result of recent storms, with one sinking.

Michelle Inbeau, a spokeswoman with the Canadian Coast Guard, said a 35-ft vessel with a speedboat (with an outboard motor) attached to its mooring, sank in 80 feet of water and had to be raised on Dec. 17 and removed from the bay.

She said that when the vessel was brought to the surface, an extensive non-recoverable sheen could be seen on the water, and that an overflight confirmed the sheen had spread.

Inbeau said a “sheen” is a very thin layer of pollutant (less than 0.0002 inches or 0.005 mm thick) floating on the water surface and is the most common form of pollutant seen in the later stages of a spill.

“Sheens dissipate through evaporation and wind and tidal action, and they are usually diesel” she said.

“It spreads out and looks large, but it is such a thin layer that floats on the surface that it can’t be recovered.”

Lori Iannidinardo, the director for Cowichan Bay on the board of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, said there should have been a containment boom placed around the sheen to capture as much of it as possible, regardless of how thick it was.

“It’s not just the oil and diesel from this one vessel that concerns me as much as the accumulative impacts on the bay over time as several vessels sink or leak there,” she said.

“It’s a death by 1,000 cuts.”

Inbeau said the majority of the vessels that broke free during the storms were retrieved by their owners and none were at risk to pollute, therefore the Coast Guard did not receive any reports about them.

“The Coast Guard only assisted one owner with retrieving a sailboat,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A boat sinking in Cowichan Bay has left a sheen of pollution on the water. (submitted)

Just Posted

Chris Istace campaigning in Crofton. (Photo submitted)
Green Party’s Istace apologizes for remark about First Nations gaming grants being a ‘handout’

Candidate determined to do better in thinking and communicating matters of reconciliation

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring says the City Langford has lessons to share on how to deal with social issues. (File photo)
Langford could teach North Cowichan ways to deal with social issues: Siebring

Island city has only eight homeless people, according to last count

Potential designs for 85 Station St. were presented last month to the City of Duncan by the Portland-based architecture and planning firm Communitecture. (Courtesy of Communitecture)
City of Duncan considers applying for grant for Station Street project

New provincial program offers grants of up to $1 million

The bus is free to ride on Oct. 24 so voters can get to the polls to cast their ballots in the provincial election. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Free transit on Election Day in Cowichan

all day and on all regular routes

Painters Jim Tulip, Doug Mackenzie and Gary Henslowe were painting the exterior of the Duncan Butcher Shop and Apple Press printing shop, located between the Trans Canada Highway and Whistler Street, on Oct. 8 as part of neighbourhood painting project. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan’s Whistler Street sees a fresh lick of paint in opioid battle

Group wants to help clean up community, one street at a time

Port Alberni resident Holly Braker-McLaughlin captured footage of five bears playing in her yard. (SCREENSHOT)
VIDEO: Quintet of bears frolic in Vancouver Island yard

Port Alberni family was treated to a visit from some playful black bears

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Sails down, masks up for Ron and Sherry Pryde, who completed a 119 day journey that was supposed to be 70 days. (Zoe Ducklow)
Coast Guard towed rudderless sailors to Port Hardy hours before a powerful storm

Rudderless for a month, the couple zigzagged most the way home with “a few donuts and lazy-eights”

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
2 years after huge highway acid spill, Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Most Read