Removing the MV Miner is going to be a tough job now that the weather is changing and north winds are heading their way, according to locals.

U.S. company Bennington Group, hired in May, plans to start the work soon, however some are concerned Mother Nature will interfere.

The former Great Lakes ship has been stranded — and has been slowly breaking up — off the coast of Cape Breton, N.S., near Scaterie Island, since breaking a tow line in September 2011.

The derelict 230-metre vessel was on its way to Turkey to be taken apart for scrap.

A number of issues delayed the work but Bennington now has provincial government approval to extend its permit to December.

Tony McDougall, a lobster fisherman, says the community wants the ship removed.

"It's very important if we can get it done and out of the way because without it, it's just going to deteriorate to the point where it's going to be in the ocean anyway," he said. "It's very important to get it out."

People in the area say the deterioration is becoming a dangerous situation.

Dangerous deteriorating ship

"People are going out sightseeing as tourists and looking at the ship and some of them are swimming underneath the ship," said Josephine Kennedy, a spokeswoman for Eastern Nova Scotia Crab Fishing Area 23.

"They're rowing through the ship, smaller boats are going through the ship they don't realize the danger of the steel plating falling off somebody being seriously hurt."

Transport Canada has a responsibility to provide security in the area and keep people away until it's safely removed as planned, she said.

Ken Wadden, who has been fishing the area his whole working life, says calm summer weather is gone and fall weather won't be as accommodating.

"Around here nobody knows the weather but the people who live here, we've got north wind coming, Norwest gales, anything from the North, you cannot work down there," Wadden said.

Wadden says if Bennington fails, the ship will be at the mercy of the weather and no one knows what will happen to it then.

Alfie MacLeod, MLA for the area, says the province may have to step in and make sure the ship is removed safely before bad weather tears it apart.

"If it doesn't happen this week I really believe it's time for the province to move forward do the cleanup and then take whoever they have to court or sue whoever they have to but it has to be done — the hurricane season is upon us."

Bennington Group says it will have people on the ground in Main-a-Dieu to start the work by Wednesday.