Lax Kwa’laams continue to disrupt test drilling near Lelu Island
by Stop Pacific NorthWest LNG/Petronas on Lelu Island, Update: September 30, 2015.
Unauthorized drilling on Flora Bank by Los Angeles contractor vessel Quin Delta was stopped for two hours this morning beginning at 9am. A new contactor boat, Eagle 41 (C20647BC), out of Campbell River, which appeared to be hired as private security, fled the area as soon as we began photographing them. While returning to Lax U’u’la a boat with three surveyors was seen leaving a cove to the east of our base camp on the island.
We followed them to the dock at Port Edward where they were told again that they were not permitted on Lelu Island. They refused to identify which company they worked for and aggressively insisted that they were authorized to work on Lelu. A second boat, Tymac 7, from Vancouver, arrived at the dock with what appeared to be 6-8 drill workers and technicians. After the Tymac left the dock and the surveyors returned to their vehicles we left to continue our regular patrol of the area.
Later in the day, at 4pm, without warning, Petronas contractor vessel Glacial Mist, along with Port Authority boat the Charles Hays, entered the cove by our base camp to lay down what appeared to be underwater high voltage cable. Two of our skiffs intercepted them and chased them off but they continued to lay electrical cable in the shallow water in another cove west of the camp. This cable will be exposed during low tide and visitors to the island should be cautious until the cables are removed.
Update: September 29. Unauthorized drilling on Flora Bank was shut down for one hour at 9am this morning by the presence of two Lax U’u’la defense crews. The Quin Delta issued a mayday distress call to the Coast Guard claiming that we had boarded their boat. This is another false claim from the contractors working for Petronas. Today’s low tide allowed us to take photographs showing the drill boat on the exposed Flora Bank. The company continues to deny they are drilling on the bank. The five surveyors escorted off Flora Bank yesterday did not attempt to return this morning.