The Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada are investigating after a barge that was being towed became grounded on Quadra Island, north of Cape Mudge on Saturday.
The barge, named the Nana Provider, is operated by Alaska Marine Lines, according to their website and photos of the barge.
According to a statement from the coast guard, there were six people on the tug that was towing the barge to safety, and there were no injuries.
But local residents say the vessel made an awful noise when it hit the ground around 8 p.m.
"I was sitting in my living room and all of a sudden I heard a humongous scratching and grinding and had no idea what it was," said Catherine Smith. "It sounded like Armageddon."
The Canadian Coast Guard says the hull of the barge was compromised during the incident. It will remain in place Sunday night and be monitored by the company and a Coast Guard ship.
Officials will try to move the barge from the site on Monday.
As for the tug Polar King, officials say it is intact and not damaged. Washington State-based Dunlap Towing, which owns the Polar King declined to comment about the incident on Sunday.
The barge was carrying rail cars and containers on its deck, but had no cargo in the hull.
The Coast Guard says there have been no signs of marine pollution.
The director of the regional district, Jim Abram, says it's fortunate nothing spilled into the water from the barge. He's worried about what a spill could mean for the local area.
"Anything that comes off of a vessel is going to disperse immediately in both directions and completely destroy anything that we have in the way of tourism, aquaculture, fisheries," he said.
Officials have not said what the containers on the barge have inside them.
Transport Canada is now overseeing the company's plan to salvage the barge.