The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Halifax and Search and Rescue Technicians from 14 Wing Greenwood provided a helping hand in rescuing six crew members of a stranded bunkering tanker.
The bunkering tanker, which carries fuel, is said to have experienced engine failure and ran aground off Sydney Mines, NS. on Sunday, Jan. 8. The JRCC responded to the Mayday call sent from the MT Arca 1 at approximately 10 a.m that day.
JRCC Halifax then reached out to 14 Wing Greenwood and tasked out a Cormorant Helicopter. With the help of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Ships Spindrift and Earl Grey, the Cormorant Helicopter was able to hoist all crew members on board and transferred them safely to Sydney, N.S.
“Whilst coordinating any search and rescue response, the staff at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) liaises closely with various other departments to ensure timely responses and passage of information. Upon learning that the Marine Tanker Arca 1 was disabled and subsequently had run aground, the priority of the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Coast Guard Staff at the JRCC was the safety of the crew members on board the vessel. The Royal Canadian Air Force Cormorant helicopter from 14 Wing Greenwood, with a highly skilled and trained crew, navigated challenging winds and weather conditions to extract the crew from the vessel and bring them to safety. The Canadian Coast Guard Ships Edward Cornwallis and Earl Grey were also tasked and navigated rough weather conditions to render assistance. The team at JRCC Halifax worked closely with the Coast Guard Environmental Response team throughout the case,” said Major Rhonda Stevens, Officer in Charge Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax.
The CCG remained on the scene to monitor the situation overnight to monitor the potential of pollution from the ship, reports CBC. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has stated that it will be deploying a team of investigators to Sydney to gather more information on the incident.