Canadian Coast Guard en route to help Russian vessel adrift near Haida Gwaii

Photo by Coast Guard News via Flickr
Photo by Coast Guard News via Flickr

The Council the Haida Nation has issued an emergency warning as a Russian container ship carrying 500 metric tonnes of bunker fuel and 60 metric tonnes of diesel lost its power at 1:30 a.m. and is adrift near Haida Gwaii.

The nation is setting up a command post in Old Massett.

The Canadian Coast Guard is also en route, while the U.S. Coast Guard has a helicopter on standby, according to CTV. The coast guard is preparing for the worst scenario, if the ship hits ground in 3-4 hours in the windy weather.

Eleven passengers are on board, said Acting Sub. Lt. Ron MacDougall. A helicopter has been dispatched to remove the ship's injured captain.

Two tugs from Alaska and Prince Rupert have been deployed but the earliest they can get to the location is 20 hours out.

“The Haida Nation’s worst fear is coming true,” said President of the Haida Nation kils tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin in a press release. “Our priority is to minimize the impact on our homeland and get our people on-site to start dealing with the grounding. We’ll deal with the politics of the situation later.”



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