Coast guard helping adrift tanker carrying 8M litres of fuel near southwest Newfoundland

Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard said Friday it is rescuing a marine tanker carrying eight million litres — or 8,000 cubic metres — of petroleum off the southwest coast of Newfoundland.

According to the coast guard, the Jana Desgagnes lost its steering due to damage to its rudder in heavy ice approximately 16 nautical miles, or 29.6 km, southwest of Port aux Basques on Thursday morning..

"The double-hulled vessel is not in danger," said David Yard, Atlantic regional superintendent of environmental response for the coast guard.

"Ice conditions have been difficult but there is no risk to crew safety and there is no pollution released."

The tanker had left the petroleum refinery at Come By Chance in eastern Newfoundland and was headed to Montreal. 

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers Captain Molly Kool and Louis S. St-Laurent are assisting the tanker in the Cabot Strait.

The tanker was towed further offshore Thursday and was waiting for a tugboat late Friday afternoon. 

When it arrives, the tug is expected to bring the Canadian chemical oil product tanker to Sydney, N.S.

There are 17 crew members aboard the tanker.

"As the lead response agency, we activated the Incident Command Post at our Environmental Response center in St. John's. Our crews are working with the captain and owner to mitigate any potential pollution," the coast guard said. 

Yard said the tanker will be repaired in Sydney.

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