Storm warning raises concerns as Russian ship carrying oil loses power near Haida Gwaii

A tanker carrying hundreds of tonnes of bunker oil and diesel is adrift near Haida Gwaii on the northern coast of BC.

The Russian carrier Simushir reportedly lost power overnight as it was moving from Washington state to Russia. The ship is carrying 400 tonnes of bunker oil and 50 tonnes of diesel. 

The area near Haida Gwaii is crucial whale habitat. There are currently 11 passengers are on board, a helicopter has been dispatched to remove the Russian ship’s captain, who is injured.

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

Heavy winds are expected today and there are concerns the vessel could run aground.

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