Tuesday, June 06, 2017

A Self-Congratulatory Post Script on the Sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart

Meeting Captain Obermeyer at the Nathan E. Stewart Symposium

by Ingmar Lee - 10,000 Ton Tanker

June 6, 2017

So I met with Captain Obermeyer recently while he was here attending a "Symposium on the sinking of the Nathan E Stewart" which was more of a backslapping session amongst all the big institutional players that worked together during the "response" to the disaster.

Apparently the big players, ie Kirby Corp, the Coast Guard, WCWC, the Christy Clark regime, the Justin Trudeau regime and the Heiltsuk Tribal Council " all worked together like a well oiled machine" but the symposium was necessary "to examine how (they) could have done better, what mistakes were made, what improvements should be made, etc."

There was, as far as I could see, nothing at all on the agenda as far as actually PREVENTING the disaster from repeating itself, again and again.

I was granted an opportunity to speak my piece, and suggested to the crowd my ideas regarding the pragmatic, simple, realistic and doable way to get all the Alaska-bound tanker traffic out of the BC Inside Passage, but having been politely applauded, the meeting continued as though the very suggestions I had offered were some sort of pie-in-the-sky, freakshow offering, an utter impossibility beyond any rational outcome. Apparently, and by the seeming futility of all my efforts, the notion of banning this tanker traffic from this precious coast is, simply, preposterous.

Nevertheless, I did notify Captain Obermeyer that I would be submitting an "Access to Information" request to his office soon, that would be seeking to uncover just how the secretive Alaska-bound tanker business has been proceeding up and down the BC Inside Passage since the dreadful wreck of the Nathan E Stewart.

Obermeyer has informed me that his office has purchased a $30,000 satellite AIS program that enables him to track all that traffic at a glance, at any given moment, - something that has become impossible for us regular shiptracking pleebs since the wreck. Prior to the disaster, tracking the Nathan E Stewart and all its many sistershipping was quite easy, - not any more.

Since Obermeyer is a public servant, I expect that we, the public, should have access to that information, which will include an account of every American oilship that has traversed this Inside Passage since the wreck.

Furthermore, I will be asking that Obermeyer, Transport Canada etc., ISSUE AN ALERT every time one of these pilotless American oilships sets out on its voyage up, and down the Inside Passage. I sincerely believe that the people of this coast have a RIGHT to be able to see, and track this extremely dangerous traffic, and to understand clearly, the scope and scale of this ugly business.

I am, frankly, dismayed, dejected, disillusioned and heartbroken that we have not been able to take any advantage of the tremendous public awareness momentum the wreck of the Nathan E Stewart generated, and been able to apply it towards ridding our coast of this utterly dreadful scourge. Personally, I cannot fathom why it has been so seemingly IMPOSSIBLE to forward this simple issue.

Nevertheless, I remain optimistic that eventually, there will be a breakthrough. I've been at this treehugging game long enough to know that persistence, doggedness, perseverance will ultimately prevail. Eventually there will begin to get some traction, eventually all this work, this effort to understand the issue, this effort to discover and articulate the pragmatic solutions that are available, will finally punch through the inertia, the laziness, the somnolence, the naysayers and start developing momentum towards a successful outcome.

Cheers, and thanks for reading thus far,

No comments: