EM-AN-L (2016)

LOCATION: Weymouth North, Nova Scotia

Case number: 120-699-C1

The Incident
On September 18, 2016, a 40-foot fishing vessel, the EM-AN-L, was reported to the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) as sunk and causing pollution at the Irving Dock in Weymouth North Harbour, Nova Scotia. The vessel had struck a shoal while entering the harbour and was holed. An oil sheen was sighted in the area; however, the owner, who is unknown, did not respond to the incident.

CCG acted as both On-Scene Commander and responder. The vessel, which had a 60 degree list with the starboard quarter partially submerged, was boomed. Sorbents were used inside the vessel and pollutants were removed. A local fisherman assisted by plugging the hole in the stern of the vessel.

On September 20, the vessel was continuing to pollute and the pollution was threatening the lobster holding crates in the Sissiboo River. The soiled sorbents and the booms were subsequently recovered and replaced. On October 3, the soiled sorbent materials were removed and CCG confirmed that the vessel was no longer a pollution threat.

The Claim
On December 2, 2016, the CCG on behalf of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO/CCG) filed a claim with the Administrator for costs and expenses incurred in the amount of $4,808.25, pursuant to the Marine Liability Act (the Act).

The Administrator determined that the claim was admissible under Part 7 of the Act.

Assessment and Offer
Investigation and assessment of the claim were carried out, and an amount of $202.31 was disallowed because no support documentation was provided. On January 25, 2017, an offer for the established amount of $4,605.94 plus interest was made by the Administrator to DFO/CCG as full and final settlement. The offer was accepted on February 6, 2017 and a payment of $4,663.38, including interest in the amount of $57.44, was made on or about February 10, 2017.

Recovery Action
Since the current owner is unknown, a demand letter was sent to the vessel’s registered owner in 2011 by the counsel for the SOPF, on or about March 24, 2017, in order to obtain from the former owner information on the identity of the current owner. The former owner’s widow responded that her husband passed away two years ago and she did not know anything about the vessel.

Given the size of the claim, it was not deemed reasonable to further investigate on the change of ownership of the vessel.

The file was closed on April 3, 2017.