Location: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Case number: 120-652

This claim from the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and the above-noted claim (section 2.22 - Cape Rouge) both occurred in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, during March and April 2014, respectively. The two old steel trawlers were sister ships. They were tied up at a berth near each other in the environmentally sensitive LaHave River.

As CCG personnel were demobilizing their oil pollution response equipment at the site of the Cape Rouge incident on April 10, they investigated whether there was any real threat of pollution from the Hannah Atlantic. Along with personnel from Transport Canada Marine Safety (TCMS) and an Environment Canada (EC) representative, CCG inspected the vessel. They found the engine room bilges full of heavily contaminated water and that the sea valves were in a state of corrosion and leaking. It was determined that the old fishing vessel contained approximately 2,250 litres of diesel fuel, 900 litres of hydraulic oils and 15,000 to 20,000 litres of oily bilge water. All three agencies agreed that the vessel was a potential pollution threat. It was in danger of sinking and needed to be addressed. Consequently, TCMS placed a Detention Order on board the Hannah Atlantic, and EC enforcement officials collected bilge water samples. Furthermore, CCG gave the owner a Direction Order to remove the pollutants, and instructed him to provide an appropriate action plan to deal with the situation by noon April 14, 2014.

During the morning of April 14, Coast Guard personnel were in communication with the vessel owner. He advised that since he did not have the financial means he would not be taking any measures to remove the fuel and hydraulic fluids. Therefore, Coast Guard contracted RMI Marine Limited to render a response under its existing Standing Offer Agreement to remove the pollutants from the vessel as per the issued Direction Order.

On April 15, RMI Marine Limited commenced removal of the bilge sludge, fuel, hydraulic oils and other pollutants from the vessel. In total, 18,000 litres of oily bilge water was pumped from the engine room, and 5,400 litres of diesel oil was removed from the day tank. Also, 421 litres of waste oil was off-loaded from various containers on board. After removal of the oil pollutants, the bilges and deck plates were steam cleaned.

On July 3, 2014, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, (DFO/CCG) filed a claim with the Administrator in the amount of $19,956.15, pursuant to the Marine Liability Act (MLA), for costs and expenses incurred during response to the incident.

After investigation and assessment of the claim, on September 16 the Administrator made a final offer to DFO/CCG for the established amount of $19,682.37, plus interest. The offer was accepted, and on October 1, 2014 the Administrator directed payment of $19,975.18, inclusive of interest. There was no Release and Subrogation Agreement requested with that payment of claim.

In order to try and identify assets that may be available for recovery purposes, the Administrator obtained the services of a professional locator firm. The background investigation revealed that no significant financial assets were registered in the owner’s name in the Province of Nova Scotia. After consultation with counsel, the Administrator decided that all reasonable recovery measures had been taken and that the expenditure of further funds on the matter was not justified. Accordingly, the file was closed on December 16, 2015.