Nova Scotia

Fuel unloaded from ship stuck in Cape Breton

A Dutch salvage company is removing thousands of litres of diesel fuel from a grounded ship near Scatarie Island in Cape Breton, N.S.
Some people worry if the MV Canadian Miner doesn't move soon, it may never get back to sea. (Canadian Coast Guard)

A Dutch salvage company is removing 6,000 litres of diesel fuel from a grounded ship near Scatarie Island in Cape Breton, N.S.

The M/V Canadian Miner was on its way to Turkey to be scrapped when its tow lines snapped in heavy seas.

Mammoet Salvaging, which is removing the diesel fuel, is also taking bilgewater — excess water that does not drain off the side of the deck — out of the vessel.

"Earlier in the week we had given the vessel's owners an order to remove the fuel, because of course [the] Coast Guard's first concern is any risk to the marine environment," said Joe LeClair, a Canadian Coast Guard spokesman, on Saturday.

The coast guard expects the salvage company to submit a plan to move the ship by Sunday. Three previous attempts to budge the carrier have failed. 

LeClair said after the fuel removal the salvage company will submit a new plan to move the ship. Any proposals will have to be reviewed by various government departments, he added.

Some local fishermen are worried if the carrier doesn't move soon, it may never get back to sea. The ship's hull is already punctured in three places.

Fisherman Brian Wadden said he worries storm swells might shift the ship, causing more punctures.

"A lot of weight involved. If she takes all of her weight in one point, she is going to punch herself, you know what I mean?"

Adam Sharpe fishes in the area, and watched the last failed attempt to move the stuck ship. Now he's starting to think it'll never leave.

"They got a hurricane supposedly coming, and that's the thing about down there usually this time of year coming in the fall we get a lot of northerly, northeast winds, and it's a hellhole down there," Sharpe said.

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