Nfld. & Labrador

Manolis L assessment well underway in Notre Dame Bay

A Florida-based company is in the midst of a $5 million contract as the federal government figures out what the next steps should be to deal with the shipwreck.

Ship sank in 1985, has leaked oil numerous times in recent years

Resolve Salvage of Fort Lauderdale, Florida is conducting the assessment work out on Notre Dame Bay (Julie Skinner/CBC)

A Florida-based company is in the midst of conducting assessment work in Notre Dame Bay, as part of its $5-million contract to help determine the next steps in dealing with the Manolis L shipwreck that lies about 60 metres below the surface.

The federal government hired Resolve Salvage in July to carry out a number of tasks, such as figuring out the wreck's exact orientation and location and providing an update to the status of its hull and the contaminants it contains.

Crews of two make up to five dives daily in order to drill, collect samples and plug leaks.

Several federal government departments are also involved with the technical assessment, including the Canadian Coast Guard.

About 20 workers man the command post in Twillingate to review findings from the Manolis L wreck in real time. (Julie Skinner/CBC)

The Manolis L sank in 1985 along with about 500 tonnes of fuel, and has intermittently leaked since that time, despite the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and coast guard taking measures such as installing a cofferdam in order to capture any escaping oil.

The assessment work is expected to wrap up Sept 4.

With files from Julie Skinner