GN warns of criminal, civil penalties for taking stranded sea can contents
NEAS truck blocks access to Apex Rotary Park where containers washed ashore after ‘sealift incident’
Iqalummiut could face criminal charges or civil lawsuit penalties if they take anything from the seacans that have washed ashore in Apex since Friday, the Government of Nunavut says.
“Anyone who takes contents from a sealift container without authorization could face criminal and/or civil penalties,” a GN social media post on Saturday afternoon said.
“Please stay away from the containers and do not interfere with the cleanup,” said the post, which appeared on Facebook and Twitter.
Five shipping containers could be seen stranded in the area near Rotary Park in Apex early Saturday afternoon.
They were among the 20 containers that fell into the water near Iqaluit’s deepsea port Friday afternoon in what shipping company NEAS Arctic Sealift described as a “discharge incident.”
One person was treated for injuries following that incident, City of Iqaluit spokesperson Kent Driscoll said.
On Saturday morning, workers were seen recovering the lost cans.
But by low tide — around 1 p.m. — containers were stranded on the shore.
Throughout the afternoon, several people arrived at the park with bags. They trekked out to the open container by foot and on their ATVs.
Two RCMP officers walked to one of the cans and came back several minutes later. One of the responding officers said he heard there was alcohol in one of the cans.
Around 3:30 p.m. — nearly two hours after police arrived in Rotary Park — the GN issued a warning on Facebook, telling people not to approach the stranded cans.
NEAS issued its first statement on the incident Saturday afternoon, advising people to avoid the washed-up cans.
“We are actively working with the relevant agencies, the local community, and our valued customers to ensure the safe resolution of this incident,” NEAS stated in a Facebook post.
“People should keep a safe distance and stay clear of marine work areas,” the company’s post said.
A pickup truck with NEAS markings on it was also on scene, blocking the road from Apex to the Rotary Park.