The Assistant Commissioner of the Coast Guard is defending his comments about Kits Base being unable to respond to the English Bay fuel spill.
At the time Roger Girouard said Kits base had no pollution response equipment, a miniscule amount of oil boom, and wouldn’t have made “one iota of difference” in the spill response.
Responding to former base staff who say otherwise Girouardsays his comments are accurate despite seeming to now contradict his own initial comments.
Girouard is now admitting the base did have a pollution response boat but only for “a brief period of time.”
But he insists the base lacked essential equipment and staff required to respond to the Marathassa spill.
Girouard finishes his statement by saying his comments have accurately reflected the response capabilities of Kits base.
Roger Girouard in a statement says the base only had 300 to 400 meters of oil boom, not enough to deal with the fuel spill.
Retired Coast Guard Captain Tony Toxopeus served at Kits base.
“We had enough boom to deal with that incident without a doubt. I am a trained pollution response technician I know what I am talking about.”
Toxopeus says not only did Kits Base have the needed booms it would have had the spill boomed off much sooner than the hours and hours it actually took.
“No. Any coxswain could have had a boom around the back of that ship or which ever way the tide was flowing, generally the ship goes into the current ,around the back of the ship and contained a good portion of that oil in under one hour without a doubt. No doubt.”
Girouard now says Kits did have a pollution response vessel but only “for a brief period of time.”
Toxopeus “That boat was at Kitsilano, to the best of my knowledge, for at least a three year period.”
Girouard says Kits Base did not have the staff to deal with the spill.
Toxopeus “It is untrue.”
Girouard says Kits base only responded to small spills from small vessels.
Toxopeus “That is untrue as well.”
Girouard initially said Kits Base had no trained staff to respond to oil spills.
Toxopeus says not only did Kits base have spill response equipment and staff trained in pollution response it also had training sessions at the base to teach others how to respond to and clean up oil spills.
Toxopeus also provided what he says is an inventory of spill response equipment at Kits Base when it was shut down.
CG 701 40′ Oil pollution response vessel with 500′ Self inflating Boom, an oil skimmer and sorbents.
The dock at Kitsilano had a Large aluminum box at the end of her dock with 500′ of 24″ “Fence boom”
The Custom built oil spill kit shipping container located at Kits Base (and every Lifeboat station on the west coast) had
500′ of 24″ fence boom, an T-Disk” oil skimmer, a power pack, 100′ of oil sorbent boom and bags and bags of sorbent pads…
Toxopeus says there was enough equipment and material and trained personnel available to provide an effective response to the English Bay fuel spill.
Below is a picture of the tow and go oil boom referred to in the inventory.