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Russian Simushir freighter to be towed to shelter port by morning Oct 20

The weather favours the rescue operation

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, October 19. /TASS/. The Russian Simushir freighter, which lost power off the western shores of Canada’s British Columbia will be towed by morning of October 20 to a shelter port, the local rescue centre said on Sunday.

“On board the ship everything is good now. The weather favours the rescue operation. The speed of south-west wind is 3-6 metres a second; waves are up to two metres high.”

The rescue centre’s duty officer said Canadian rescuers had been working well in the current situation.

Earlier, the Canadian Forces’ joint rescue coordination centre said that the Barbara Foss tug would tow the Simushir away the rocky coast where it could run aground and cause an oil spill. Besides, the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier and U.S. Spar would be there to render help if needed.

The Simushir lost power and began drifting overnight to Friday off the island of Haida Gwaii.

The Canadian military said that if the vessel carrying 400 tonnes of bunker oil and 50 tonnes of diesel ran aground and hit the rocks, it could cause a spill and ecological disaster.

The Simushir made its way from the U.S. port of Everett in the Washington state to Russia. The vessel built in 1998 is registered in Russia and owned by the Sakhalin Shipping Company.