Nova Scotia

Salvage companies to examine MV Miner wreck

Two salvage companies will travel to an island off Nova Scotia next month to assess how best to remove a stranded bulk carrier, a provincial official said Tuesday.
The MV Miner broke its line and ran aground off Scatarie Island in September. (Nova Scotia Department of Environment)

Two salvage companies will travel to an island off Nova Scotia next month to assess how best to remove a stranded bulk carrier, a provincial official said Tuesday.

The MV Miner broke its line and ran aground off Scatarie Island in September as it was being towed from Montreal to Turkey, where it was to be scrapped.

Russell MacKinlay, acting director of operations for the Department of Natural Resources, said Bennington Group of New York and Armada Offshore of Turkey will examine the site in mid-February.

The companies are working on an agreement with the provincial and federal governments for the removal of the vessel, which sits in a protected provincial wilderness area.

"What we have right now is a preliminary plan," said MacKinlay.

"Any final plan would have to include a site visit to look things over and get a feel for the island."

MacKinlay said provincial officials would travel to the island to oversee the visit and seek local expertise about the area from people such as fishermen.

MacKinlay took part in a community meeting Monday in Main-a-Dieu, N.S., where he said people voiced their concerns about the potential harm to the area's fishery if the vessel isn't removed or is removed improperly.

MacKinlay said if an agreement with the salvage companies is concluded, work can proceed.

"We are looking for assurances that whatever they do is done correctly and that the environment is protected in that area."

He said any work would likely not begin until sometime after winter.

The 230-metre ship has remained in one piece despite several large holes in its side caused by storms last fall, he said.

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