Nova Scotia

Ophelia to bear down on grounded ship

The owners of the M/V Canadian Miner have flown in a team of salvage experts to assess the stranded ship.

The owners of the M/V Canadian Miner have flown in a team of salvage experts to assess the stranded ship.

They spent most of the day Friday at Scaterie Island, where the bulk carrier has been stuck since Sept. 20.

Now Ophelia, a Category 3 storm, is expected to skirt the Cape Breton coast overnight Sunday.

Divers were in the water today to inspect three cracks that have developed in the hull of the ship.

The coast guard said the first priority is to remove more than 6,000 litres of diesel fuel from an interior tank.

They hope that will get done before Ophelia's winds and three to four metre high waves hit this weekend, conditions the Canadian Coast Guard said will probably delay the salvage operation.

Fishermen in the area are worried about pollution should the ship break up, but according to Transport Canada both its bilge and main fuel tanks were cleaned before it left Montreal. Inspectors gave it what they call a 'green passport' which experts say means any environmental damage, if the worst were to happen, would be minimal.

Joe LeClair, with the Canadian Coast Guard, said they need to see a plan from the ship's owner before they will know when the next attempt to free the decomissioned carrier will happen.

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