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Sunken tugboat near Bella Bella lifted from water

The Nathan E. Stewart tugboat is finally out of the water, after 33 days sitting on the ocean floor near Bella Bella.

It leaked more than 100,000 litres of marine diesel, and 2,240 litres of oil in the Pacific since going down on October 13th.

The tugboat is on dry land, but Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett says there’s more work to do.

“We’re feeling very uncertain about our future as we face the hard work of assessing the short and long-term environmental, cultural and economic impacts on our community.”

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“Our community members are asking what we are going to do now that our harvest areas have been affected by widespread oil contamination,” says the Chief. “These traditional family harvesting areas have been used by our people for thousands of years – now we are faced with having to travel further south into more exposed and dangerous waters to find our traditional food.”

Removal took about 8 hours.

From here, Slett adds there will be environmental monitoring and cleanup, and an independent investigation by the Heiltsuk Nation.

Photos by Kyle Artelle
Photos by Kyle Artelle

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Photos by Kyle Artelle.

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