Cofferdam fix at Manolis L. called a textbook operation
A recent spill of oil near the infamous sunken vessel Manolis L. in Notre Dame Bay is nothing to worry about, the Canadian Coast Guard says.
The coast guard said a little oil — about 40 litres — seeped into the bay during a recent operation in which the cofferdam, a device that catches leaking oil, was replaced on the sunken wreckage.
The coast guard, though, said the effort to replace the cofferdam went off like a textbook operation.
Residents in the area have been complaining for months about the environmental impact of the Manolis L., particularly when long-trapped oil began rising to the surface.
The Liberian-flagged Manolis L. sank after running aground in January 1985 on Blow Hard Rock near Change Islands. It was carrying more than 500 tonnes of fuel oil and diesel at the time.
The latest spill was quickly cleaned up, said Bob Grant, a senior environmental response officer with the coast guard, adding that workers anticipated the spill of oil during the operation.
"We were very well prepared for any release that may have occurred and when it did we were right there to take the task as it needed to be done," said Grant.
The coast guard installed neoprene gaskets to plug the hull cracks last spring after reports of surface sheens of oil.
Grant said a survey of the hull of the Manolis L. confirmed that the new cofferdam is working.
He also said the crew will return to the vessel in the fall to check on it and change the cofferdam again.
With files from Jamie Baker