Lucas & Rebecca (2017)

LOCATION: Bay of Islands, Newfoundland

Case number: 120-727-C1

The Incident
On Saturday, July 1, 2017, the Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response (CCG ER) Duty Officer in St. John’s was informed that a 40-foot fishing vessel, Lucas & Rebecca was aground in the Bay of Islands, on the west coast of the province. The crew had safely abandoned the vessel. The vessel owner reported that there was approximately 200 litres of diesel fuel onboard along with some hydraulic oil, engine oil and steering fluid.

When the CCG ER officer in St. John’s was informed about the incident, he contacted the CCG Cape Fox ― a 47-foot SAR lifeboat based at Lark Harbour approximately 10 nautical miles from the scene of the incident. The coxswain of the Cape Fox reported that he had responded to the grounding and attempted to tow the fishing vessel off the rocks on the shores of Saddle Island, but the efforts were unsuccessful. There was no oil pollution sighted. The owner was, at the time, in the process of removing containers of engine oil, steering fluid and pails of hydraulic oil. The weather forecast was for severe winds, which did finally result in the destruction of the grounded vessel.

On July 3, the owner advised that the vessel he had arranged to remove the diesel fuel was unable to operate because of severe weather conditions. During the day, however, the ER crew used its response equipment to successfully remove all accessible oils from the wreck ― that is, 850 litres of diesel, 20 litres of hydraulic oil and 20 litres of steering fluid, as well as a small amount of oil from the engine. The ER crew departed the area on July 4 and returned to St. John’s.

On November 14, 2017 the Administrator was advised that the Lucas & Rebecca was a total loss.

The Claim
On November 3, 2017, the Administrator received a claim from the Coast Guard on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO/CCG) for costs and expenses in the amount of $17,744.64, made pursuant to the Marine Liability Act.

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

Assessment and Offer
On December 13, 2017, after investigation and assessment of the claim, the Administrator made an offer to DFO/CCG for the established amount of $17,744.64 plus interest as full and final settlement.

On December 19, 2017, the Administrator received a letter from DFO/CCG accepting the offer. A payment of $18,301.77 (including $557.13 in accrued interest) was directed to DFO/CCG on January 11, 2018.

Recovery Action
On February 27, 2018, Counsel for the Administrator sent a demand letter to the shipowner.

The file remains open.