Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

October 19, 2014 12:44 ET

Statement by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 19, 2014) - Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea made the following statement today, in response to the ongoing search and rescue operation off the coast of Haida Gwaii:

"I would like to thank the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Armed Forces for all their efforts and quick response. The coordinated efforts from all partners which also included other federal departments, the province of British Columbia and the Haida First Nation have ensured safety for all.

Through close co-ordination between the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence, the Government of Canada was able to take immediate action to halt the Russian-flagged ship Simushir from drifting into shore.

Additionally, assistance provided by the US Coast Guard in the form of the USCGC Spar and a US Coast Guard Helicopter at the ready in Sandspit, BC, highlights the ongoing support that the US and Canada provide to each other when required - and for that I would also like to extend my appreciation.

Thanks to these efforts, the ship is now being towed by the tug boat Barbara Foss, greatly reducing the risk of environmental impact.

The situation is currently under control with the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and USCGC Spar providing escort services. This operation is expected to continue for the coming days as the ship makes its way to a port for repair. More resources remain ready to respond, including those prepared for environmental response, and will be deployed if necessary.

Again, I would like to thank all parties involved in this operation, and for demonstrating that it is possible to prepare for the unanticipated in order to ensure positive outcomes."

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

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Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Frank Stanek
    Media Relations
    613-990-7537