Vancouver spill: Cruise ship to cover cleanup costs

Cruise ship set to pay for spill cleanup costs after admitting resposibility for the incident.

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Updated on 31 Jul 2009 07:26 GMT

Coast Guard officials have announced that a cruise ship thought to be responsible for a fuel spill in Vancouver harbour will pay for the cleanup costs after admitting responsibility for the incident.

The SS Oceanic, a Peace Boat cruise ship currently docked at Canada Place in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet, admitted responsibility for an oil slick that had been found blanketing the water after Transport Canada investigators matched fuel in the water to fuel inside the ship on Thursday morning.

The incident was reported at around 5 a.m Thursday, prompting crews to put containment booms around the area later in the day.

The Coast Guard, port staff and Transport Canada workers, began cleanup operations on Thursday morning. Marine spill response company Burrard Clean Operations has also been commissioned to clean the port.

Crews were working yesterday to determine the dimension of the slick, the amount of fuel that leaked into the water and the product they were dealing with.

According to early indications it is thought that light fuel oil may have spilled from the SS Oceanic into the harbour. The Coast Guard has also stated that some of the oil will not be recovered. "There is a fair amount of non-recoverable fuel in the water," Coast Guard spokesperson Dan Bate said.

A fine could also be placed on the cruise ship company by Transport Canada, according to Bate.