Nfld. & Labrador

Cofferdam replaced on Manolis L, DFO finds no oil leaks

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has completed its latest round of work on the sunken vessel, the Manolis L, in one of its two maintenance operations this year.
The DFO's Bob Grant says the Coast Guard is continually monitoring the sunken ship. (CBC)

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has completed its latest round of work on the sunken vessel, the Manolis L, in one of its two maintenance operations this year.

DFO spokesperson Bob Grant said experts have examined the wreck and earlier this week replaced the cofferdam, a device that catches leaking oil.

Grant said there are no oil leaks present at this time.

"There's no change from what we can observe," said Grant.

Grant says there were 15 personnel and a number of resources dedicated to monitoring the sunken paper carrier, including five on-site vessels and a mobile command centre.

The shipwreck has been underwater in Notre Dame Bay for the past 30 years. After resting dormant for decades, a powerful storm dislodged the vessel two years ago, as well as 500 tonnes of fuel in its hull.  

People in the region have since been concerned over the environmental and economic impacts of the oil, especially as there are no set plans to fully remove it. 

A local group is continuing to lobby Ottawa to pump all the oil out of the Manolis L. The group is holding a fundraising and awareness concert — called Oil Out! — in Twillingate on June 20.

Grant urges the public to call the pollution reporting line if there are any oil sightings at 709-772-2083 or 1800-563-9089. Grant says there have been no reports of oil this year.

"The Canadian Coast Guard is committed to the operations of the Manolis L that we've been undertaking," said Grant. "Our aerial surveillance and underwater monitoring are going to continue."

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