Alaska Bound Fuel Barge has Close Call in Canadian Waters

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - A fuel barge headed for Alaska detached from its tug boat in Canadian waters on Sunday.

    Stormy seas and high winds were the cause of that separation. The barge, identified as the Zidell Marine 277, is carrying about one million gallons of diesel and gasoline; there are no reports of any spills.

    According to KTOO, Canadian Navy Lt. Melissa Kai of the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center in Victoria said the next morning that a second tug had regained control of the 430-foot barge.

    This follows an incident last year that resulted in 26,000 gallons of diesel being spilled near Bella Bella, British Columbia. People there are still experiencing the environmental impacts of that spill.

    There is currently legislation pending in Ottawa, that could tighten shipping procedures in the area. However, under the current draft, fuel barges that serve Alaska ports would be exempt.

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