Twillingate, Ottawa protests want oil-leaking Manolis L cleaned up

Dozens of area residents and supporters marched through Twillingate Sunday, calling on all levels of government to take action and clean up the shipwrecked Manolis L.
Dozens of protesters, many wearing black, walk behind an oil drum marked, 'Manolis L,' during a protest in Twillingate Sunday. (Twitter)

Dozens of area residents and supporters marched through Twillingate Sunday, calling on all levels of government to take action and clean up the shipwrecked Manolis L.

"We're just asking people to come out and walk with us, to basically demonstrate our displeasure at the lack of action that the government has taken with regard to the Manolis L," said protest organizer Carolyn Parsons.

"What they've done to date, we don't feel is appropriate and we'd like them to do something permanent and remove the oil."
A simultaneous demonstration skate was held on the canal in Ottawa, for those who are connected to Notre Dame Bay but live away. They used #savenlcoast to connect via social media. (Twitter)

At the same time as the march in Twillingate, a solidarity protest was held in Ottawa on a portion of the popular skating canal. Parsons said that while people in this province are aware of what is happening with the Manolis L — now they're focused on letting the rest of the country know.

"Those people will be meeting … and skating on the canal with signs and banners, handing out some information about the event," said Parsons.

On Sunday, Parsons and others also met with the mayor of Twillingate, Gordon Noseworthy, along with provincial Progressive Conservative ministers, Dan Crummell and Derrick Dalley. They want the province to push the federal government on the clean-up.

"From the provincial government, we'd like a commitment,  we'd like them to go to the federal government and get the commitment that they are going to do that," she said.

Meantime, this weekend marks the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Manolis L.

An online petition is also drawing lots of support according to Parsons. As of Sunday morning it had more than 40,000 signatures.

The Manolis L struck the Blow Hard Rocks during this week back in 1985.
The Manolis L sank off Newfoundland's Notre Dame Bay in 1985, but area residents worry oil leaking from the ship's hull won't stop until it is all removed. (Courtesy of Maritime History Archive, MUN)

The wreck sat dormant for years, but a powerful storm dislodged the vessel two years ago, as well dislodging some 500 tonnes of fuel in its hull.

Last year the Canadian Coast Guard replaced a cofferdam at the site of the shipwreck, a device that catches the leaking oil.

Coast Guard officials maintain measures already taken are adequate, and that there is no imminent threat posed by the wreck.