Spudnik (2014)

LOCATION:  Howe Sound, British Columbia

Case number: 120-665

On November 12, 2014, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) informed the Administrator that the vessel Spudnik had broken its moorings and was adrift in Howe Sound, British Columbia. At the time there was a north wind of some 20 to 30 knots outflowing the Sound, which is almost entirely hemmed in by rugged mountains. The owner was unable to take any proper action. The vessel is an ex-US Navy landing ship of approximately 195 feet in length and 35 feet in breadth, constructed of welded steel and built in 1945. It was estimated that there were 5,000 litres of diesel fuel in tanks on board, and 1,500 litres of lube oil mixed with water in the engine room. CCG Emergency Response personnel hired a Seaspan tug to tow the vessel to New Westminster in the Fraser River for removal of the diesel and lube oils. On December 11, 2014, the Administrator learned that the cleaning of the vessel had been completed. The vessel was secured at the Valley Towing dock in the Fraser River, and it was incurring a daily moorage cost.

On April 28, 2016, the Administrator received a claim from the DFO/CCG for costs and expenses in the amount of $149,043.60. After investigation and assessment of the claim the Administrator made a final offer to the Coast Guard for the established amount of $131,064.45 plus interest. The offer was accepted on September 8, 2016 and the claim was paid in the amount of $137,747.51 including interest.

The Fund commenced recourse action against the vessel owner. The Administrator engaged a locator service to complete a locate and asset search of the vessel owners. No assets were identified. A further survey was done by a local marine surveyor of three vessels owned by the same owner. The survey concluded that the vessels had no significant market value. The file remains open.