Nova Scotia

Environmental OK needed to float stuck ship

A plan to pump ballast water out of a ship stuck off the coast of Cape Breton must be given environmental approval before another attempt is made to re-float the vessel, officials say.
The Canadian Coast Guard will likely try Tuesday night to free a barge stuck off Scaterie Island. (Canadian Coast Guard)

A plan to pump ballast water out of a ship stuck off the coast of Cape Breton must be given environmental approval before another attempt is made to re-float the vessel, officials say.

The M/V Canadian Miner has been stuck off Scaterie Island since late last week when it snapped a towline in heavy seas. It has 6.5 metric tonnes of diesel on board, used just to run the emergency generator.

The 230-metre ship is pressed against the shore and all efforts to pull it free have failed.

Fisherman Ken Wadden, from nearby Main-a-Dieu, is worried that if the decommissioned bulk carrier breaks up, it will ruin the lobster fishery.

"I don't know how long that ship's been on the ocean — I'd guess  30, 40 years plus. And you go down to the bottom of her bilge and cut her open, you wouldn't believe it: sludge and mud and oil and garbage," he said, adding that he has worked on such ships.

Wadden, who has been fishing in the area for 50 years, said an icebreaker could possibly pull the ship off.

But he's betting that Scaterie island, known for its shipwrecks, will be the ship's final destination, too. The Miner was on its way to Turkey to be scrapped.

In its working life, the ship carried coal, ore and grain on the Great Lakes.

 

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