A container ship carrying a considerable amount of diesel caused chaos this week as it neared the rocky coast of British Columbia during a storm. The ship named The Simushir suffered a broken oil heater and was thus out of action until it was repaired. However, the timing couldn’t have been worse as a storm dragged it 44 Kilometres closer to the shore, creating fears it would cause a diesel spill, shedding its load of hundreds of tonnes of diesel fuel, which would have had catastrophic environmental repercussions.
The panic led to both Canadian and American forces working together to secure the ship. The alarm was elevated by the fears of those who still remember the Exxon Valdez Spill, where 35,000 tonnes of oil were spilled. However, the Canadian Government were better prepared this time and assembled forces to deal with the spill if it were to occur.
Luckily, three other vessels were able to lead The Simushir away from the coast and thus avoid disaster. Although, the panic was an international one, fuel spills can also cause panic on a much more local scale. Oil and diesel spills, even those on your own property can have severe environmental effects. Up to date regulations and pollution prevention guidelines in relation to storing fuel in the UK can be obtained from the Environment Agency.