A fuel tanker carrying 9˝ million litres of diesel fuel has run aground in the Northwest Passage, the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed Thursday.
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Woodward's has worked out a plan with the Nunavut government to free the beached tanker. Fuel will be pumped from it to another tanker until the stranded tanker is light enough to float. That operation could take more than a week.
Last month, another tanker owned by Woodward's ran aground near Pangnirtung, on southern Baffin Island.
The tanker had finished unloading a bulk shipment of gasoline on Aug. 8 when it became grounded in the local harbour, tipping at an angle in low tide.
No fuel spilled from that ship, which eventually became dislodged in high tide within hours. But the incident alarmed Pangnirtung community officials, who said they are not prepared to deal with a major fuel spill.
Ugyuk said a major spill in Gjoa Haven would have been devastating.
"I don't know if people are prepared for it. I know we're prepared for a small fuel leak," she said.