Salvage crews have recovered a tanker truck that plunged to the bottom of Robson Bight off northern Vancouver Island in 2007 when a barge tipped over.

The tanker was loaded with 10 thousand litres of diesel fuel when it sank 350 metres below the surface of the water in the area, which is a protected killer whale habitat famed for its whale-rubbing beaches.

The B.C. environment ministry says a barge and crane were used to lift the tanker in a special container to minimize any diesel or oil leaks.

The ministry says a small amount of oil was found in the container when it was brought to a shallow depth for a preliminary inspection and the oil was pumped out.

The raising of the truck is part of a larger salvage effort that saw crews recover other forestry equipment that also sank when the barge listed and dumped its cargo into the water in August 2007.