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Live operations

The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for overseeing marine response operations to pollution spills, hazardous vessels, and search and rescue. This page provides the latest operational updates, for media and public use, on current or on-going Canadian Coast Guard response operations.

Active incidents

Operational updates will be posted during an active incident as they become available.

Past incidents

Incident on board the MSC Sao Paulo V

Update – March 10, 2024 – 11:00 am ET

The MSC Sao Paulo V arrived safely at the Port of Québec yesterday evening, March 9, at around 8 p.m.

The federal authority responsible for the next steps Transport Canada, will now take charge of the situation. This is the final update shared by the Canadian Coast Guard on the status of the situation.

Update – March 9, 2024 – 9:00 am ET

The ship's anchor was successfully raised, and the MSC Sao Paulo V's departure ban was lifted yesterday, March 8, allowing the Ocean Taiga and Ocean K. Rusby to start towing operations. Towing began yesterday evening, bound for the Port of Québec. The tugs are operating at reduced speed, and the tow is going smoothly. Time of arrival will vary based on the towing speed and the weather.  Safety is paramount.

No pollution from the vessel has been detected. An update on the situation will be shared as soon as possible.

Update – March 8, 2024 – 2:30 p.m. ET

The fire aboard MSC Sao Paulo V is now extinguished. The firefighters have demobilized.

A third Ocean Group tugboat, the K. Rusby, arrived on scene this morning. It is expected that the tug will provide the required electricity to the ship, through a generator, to enable it to weigh anchor. Discussions are still ongoing with the ship owner and other federal partners regarding next steps, including towing the vessel.

The CCGS Amundsen has been released and will return to its spring icebreaking operations in the Saguenay River. Ocean Group's three tugs will remain on site.

Still no trace of pollution from the ship is detected. The environmental response team will also remain on site on the shores of Tadoussac until the ship departs.

A reminder that the information provided here is the only information CCG is able to share at this time. The CCG will provide updates as soon as possible.

Update – March 7, 2024 – 11:00 a.m. ET

The fire on board MSC Sao Paulo V is nearly extinguished, but there is still a high smoke and CO2 content on board. Ventilation of the vessel will be required for a minimum of 24 hours before anybody can move freely on it without protective equipment. The vessel is prohibited from departing by Transport Canada at its current position.

Discussions are ongoing with the ship owner and other federal partners. Some plans for next steps have been proposed.

The CCGS Amundsen remains on site, along with the two tugs and the MSC Celine and MSC Don Giovanni for support if needed. The environmental response team also remains on site on the shores of Tadoussac. No pollution from the vessel has been detected.

A reminder that the information provided here is the only information CCG is able to share at this time, and updates will be provided as soon as possible.

Update – March 6, 2024 – 11:30 a.m. ET

The container ship is still near the entrance to the Saguenay Fjord and was moved on the afternoon of March 5, with the help of tugboats, to a deeper area to avoid grounding at low tide.

A CCG Environmental Response Team was also deployed near the ship on the shores of Tadoussac. In addition, a second group of U.S. firefighters and specialized equipment arrived on the scene in the late afternoon of March 5, to support the crew in fighting the fire that remains under control.

The CCGS Amundsen, as well as Ocean Group's tugs, the Ocean Taiga and the Anse du Moulin, remain on site to assist. Some comings and goings of crew members and firefighters have been carried out with the help of tugs over the past few days, to relay members aboard the Sao Paulo V so they can rest, and to bring in supplies and food. The tugs also proceeded to spray the hull and the ship to cool it. There have been no injuries or pollution observed from the vessel into the marine environment.

The information provided here is the only information the CCG is able to share at the present time, and will provide updates as soon as possible.

CCG's Role in Marine Incidents

The CCG is the federal lead agency and will ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect the safety off responders and to minimize the impact of this incident on the marine environment . The CCG works closely with the ship owner as well as the relevant authorities, such as Transport Canada.

The Canadian Coast Guard reminds everyone that under the Canada Shipping Act, the master of a boat, whether leisure or not, has responsibilities such as:

  • Ensuring the safety of the people on board
  • Taking reasonable steps to communicate
  • Providing assistance when a danger is reported
  • Making sure that the load line of the boat is not submerged
Update – March 5, 2024 – 12:15 p.m. ET

The container ship MSC Sao Paulo V is still anchored near the entrance to the Saguenay Fjord, at Cap de Granite.

The two Laurentian Pilotage Authority pilot boats left late afternoon on March 4. In the afternoon and evening of March 4, crew members of the Sao Paulo V travelled aboard MSC Don Giovanni to rest. The CCGS Amundsen is always on standby to assist and monitor the situation.

The tug Ocean Taiga, based in Quebec City, arrived on the scene during the night of March 4 to 5, and remains alongside the ship to assist as need be. This morning, March 5, a specialized team of American firefighters, called in as reinforcements by the MSC company, boarded the ship to assess the situation.

The Canadian Coast Guard continues to report no injuries or pollution risks, and continues to monitor the situation closely, provide assistance if need be, and support the company in its decision-making.

Update – March 4, 2024 – 2:30 p.m. ET

The container ship MSC Sao Paulo V, on which a fire was reported last night when it was approaching the pilot station Les Escoumins, recently informed the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) that the fire was under control. The ship managed to anchor near the entrance to the Saguenay Fjord around 11 a.m. ET, March 4, 2024. An Ocean Group tug from Baie-Comeau was on its way to assist, and arrived at the scene around 1 p.m. ET.

The ship does not interfere with navigation, and there are no signs of pollution or injuries. The CCGS Amundsen is always in the vicinity, along with a pilot boat, to assist if needed. The crew was not evacuated. Upon arrival of the tug, the ship captain will assess the possible options, based on the current situation and weather conditions.

The role of the CCG is to monitor the situation closely and provide assistance if need be.

Operational Update: March 4, 2024 – 10:00 a.m. ET

At around 11 p.m. ET, March 3, 2024, the MSC Sao Paulo V, a container ship, issued a call for help for an onboard fire in the engine room. The ship had left Montréal in the morning and was heading for Portugal. It is of Liberian origin and is 294 meters long.

During the night, two pilot boats from the Laurentian Pilotage Authority moved to rescue the ship, as well as the icebreaker Amundsen. They are on the scene to support the vessel in difficulty, and ready to assist, should an evacuation be necessary. A tug is also underway at the scene. Transport Canada also supports the Canadian Coast Guard.

As of 9 a.m. ET, March 4, the crew was still on board. The ship is about 1.5 nautical miles from shore near Bergeronnes.

As of 10 a.m. ET, the fire is still ongoing, and there are no signs of pollution or loss of cargo.

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