Confusion and miscommunication.
That’s what caused a two hour delay responding to a fuel spill off Vancouver’s English Bay, according to a report issued today by Canadian Coast Guard assistant commissioner John Butler.
He says the initial response was delayed because of miscommunication between the Coast Guard, Port Metro Vancouver and Western Canada Marine Response Corp.
Around 2700 liters of Bunker fuel spilled from the MV Marathassa in April.
Other issues included the vessel involved denied it was the polluter, and the Coast Guard was responding to another planned operation.
Butler makes 25 recommendations, including the Coast Guard improves communications and training.
Coast Guard does not dispute the report
In response, Coast Guard director of operations Greg Lick acknowledges there were problems with communication.
“Mr. Butler allows us to see those details and confirms some of the details we already knew. We couldn’t see some of them as the event were unfolding. Now we see them much more clearly.”
He says the agency has already started implementing the report’s recommendations.
The leak was first reported by a boater at 5pm on April 8th, but wasn’t reported to the City of Vancouver for 12 hours- sparking criticism from Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Environment Minister Mary Polak says the recommendations “clearly articulate the need for the Coast Guard to improve spill response capabilities.”
She adds the “ultimate goal continues to be a world-class marine spill regime from the federal government.”