Retired Coast Guard Commander, Fred Moxey, believes the federal government's claims to have recovered 80% of the English Bay oil spill are nonsense.
“I’ve been in hundreds of spills and never seen an 80 per cent recovery," Moxey said. "Usually you recover 30 per cent at most, more like 10, and that’s with an immediate response and a trained crew with sponges and straw pulling the oil out by hand.”
The "80 per cent" figure was repeated at a press conference by the coordinated response team today at Canada Place.
Moxey, a 35-year Coast Guard veteran and former commander of the now-closed Kitsilano Coast Guard station, said the numbers reported by government are likely based on observation and aerial photography which fails to show the full reality in the water.
“They need to send cameras to the bottom of the bay to see what made it down there.”
He called this "a horrible practice," meant to cut costs and push capacity away from the Coast Guard and onto partnered private enterprises.
The 2013 closure of the Kitsilano station has been under scrutiny since the spill. Moxey said before the closure the station was the busiest on the west coast, responding to over 300 calls per year.
"You can't remove the possibility of human error. They are in no way prepared for a catastrophe," he said. "It'd be years to clean it up."
The Vancouver Observer published the photo above showing the now shuttered Kitsilano Coast Guard station (in blue) overlooking English Bay where the oil spill occurred.
Honestly, I feel like my coast is being assaulted by my own government. Harper & Co. have done everything in their power to leave the coast vulnerable and essentially defenceless even as they have massively increased the risks of an environmental catastrophe. The greatest threat to my coast is not ISIS, it's Ottawa.