Investigator (2016)

LOCATION: Toker Point, Northwest Territories

Case number: 120-696-R

The Incident
On September 2, 2016, the double-hulled barge Investigator ran aground near Toker Point, about 15 km north of Tuktoyaktuk, with 50,000 litres of diesel fuel on board and remained stranded. Refloating attempt having been unsuccessful, the barge overwintered in the Arctic.

Measures taken by the Administrator
The Administrator was informed of the incident by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) on October 11, 2016. On October 18, the Administrator, on the advice of the counsel for the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF), decided to maintain a watching brief on the situation and take no further action for the moment.

On July 6, 2017, updates were received from CCG to the effect that the barge still remained aground and the refloating attempt had been delayed until August. CCG also advised the Administrator that most of the oil had been removed by Fathom Marine Inc., the Canadian bareboat charterer of the barge, with helicopters and baskets, during the winter, pursuant to CCG’s order. CCG had taken care of pumping the remaining oil. During August 2017, a small tug and a work barge were sent by Fathom Marine Inc. to free the Investigator; however, they ended up on the shore next to the barge. The small tug and the work barge were recovered and another attempt was planned during the first week of September.

On October 5, 2017, the counsel for the SOPF was informed that the Investigator would be leaving Toker Point and towed to Vancouver. Whilst the Administrator was getting ready to arrest the barge, negotiations about a Letter of Undertaking (LOU) that would cover potential claims took place between counsels on October 11, 2017. Warrants to arrest the tug Fathom Wave and the barge Investigator were to be issued on November 2, 2017 unless a security in a form satisfactory to the Administrator was given.

On November 2, 2017, the counsel for the SOPF was informed that, on its way to Vancouver, the Investigator started drifting and was not expected to be in Vancouver in the coming weeks.

An action was commenced by the SOPF on November 3, 2017, and on November 28, 2017, the Administrator received a LOU covering all three claims. The SOPF filed a Notice of discontinuance and the action is stayed.

The Claim
No claim has been filed with the Administrator.

The owner and its insurer will address directly the claims of the claimants.

The file remains open.