Stolen gear further delays ship salvage off N.S.

Three plasma cutters have been stolen from the warehouse belonging to the company set to salvage the MV Miner, further delaying the scrapping of the ship.

Three plasma cutters stolen from worksite as company prepares to salvage MV Miner

The MV Miner broke its line and ran aground off Scatarie Island in September 2011. (Nova Scotia Department of Environment)

Three plasma cutters have been stolen from a warehouse belonging to the company set to salvage the MV Miner, further delaying the scrapping of the ship off Scatarie Island.

Someone broke into the Bennington Group's warehouse in Sydport Industrial Park, said the Cape Breton Regional Police.

Plasma cutters are used to weld and cut metal.

The MV Miner has been stuck off the coast of Scatarie Island since September 2011. The bulk carrier was being towed from Montreal to Turkey to be scrapped when its tow line broke.

Bennington Group, a New York-based salvage company, was supposed to start removing the remains of the vessel in the spring but the process has been plagued with delays. So far, no work has been done on the ship.

A group of people who live near the wreck told CBC News they've had enough.

"I don't believe it's beyond the wit and wisdom and power of the province of Nova Scotia to come up with a 'Plan B' if Bennington proves incapable of doing the work for whatever reason," said Sean Howard, a member of the executive committee of the Main-a-Dieu Community Development Association.

"Whether that involves looking outside Bennington or trying to change the payment structure so the province has to fund the cleanup now and sort out who it's owed money from. But the crisis now is to get it off the island safely and completely before winter."

Ken Wadden, a lobster fishermen in Main-a-Dieu, supports the idea. He believes the windy fall weather will make it impossible for the work to be done this year.

"I would say if they set it up the last of February to the first of March, you'd be on the ball. March, you get a lot of good days here, go for March before fishing," said Wadden.

The provincial government said it has been assured by Bennington Group that the salvage work is going ahead.

Charlie Parker, Nova Scotia's Natural Resources Minister, said he's sending a letter to the federal Minster of Transport to try and get work on the project moving faster.

Parker said Bennington Group will setup a website to keep the community informed about its progress.

CBC News was unable to reach anyone from Bennington Group for comment.