Disabled Russian Container Ship Towed From British Columbia Coast

The BBC reports that a disabled Russian container ship, the Simushir,  is being pulled away from Canada’s shore, ending fears that the vessel carrying hundreds of tons of fuel would drift ashore, hit rocks and spill. The Simushir was towed to port by a U.S.-based ocean-going tug, the Barbara Foss.

The Russia-bound ship left Washington and lost power on Friday morning due to a mechanical failure. The Canadian Coast Guard ship Gordon Reid arrived Friday night and started towing the disabled ship away from shore, but three attempts to keep a towline attached failed and the ship was adrift again for six hours Saturday.

It had originally been feared that the ship might hit Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.

A spokesman for Russian shipping firm SASCO, the owners of the vessel, said it is carrying 298 containers of mining equipment in addition to 400 tons of bunker oil and 50 tons of diesel. The vessel is not a tanker but rather a cargo ship.

Right now the vessel is in port in Prince Rupert on British Columbia’s north coast and engine repairs are expected to be completed within two days.

Do you have any questions regarding shipping to Russia or CIS? Please contact RCL Agencies!