Fuel-laden Russian ship towed to Canadian port

20th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

A Russian container ship carrying several hundred tonnes of fuel and diesel was finally towed to a western Canadian port Monday after drifting for days amid fears it would sink and trigger an environmental disaster.

The Simushir docked at Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia province, from where it was due to depart within 48 hours, port authorities said.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea "confirms #Simushir is secure at shore in #PrinceRupert for repairs. Successful mission. Thank you all!" her office tweeted.

The ship, and its load of 460 tonnes of bunker fuel and diesel, had been heading home from the US state of Washington when it suddenly lost power in bad weather overnight Thursday and became stranded off the west coast of the Haida Gwaii archipelago.

On Saturday, a Canadian Coast Guard ship had managed to tow the Simushir to the open seas but the carrier drifted again after a cable ruptured.

Local aboriginal people had declared a state of emergency, fearing the ship would strike land and devastate the pristine coastline, which is home to a rich marine life and dozens of ancient village sites.

© 2014 AFP

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