Nova Scotia

Salvage plan for stuck ship to be studied

A Dutch salvage company will present its plan Monday on how to re-float a bulk carrier that is stuck near Scatarie Island, off the coast of Cape Breton.
A salvage company has drawn up a plan to re-float a ship stuck on shoals near Scaterie Island. (Canadian Coast Guard)

A Dutch salvage company will present its plan Monday on how to re-float a bulk carrier that is stuck near Scatarie Island, off the coast of Cape Breton.

More than two weeks ago, the M/V Canadian Miner was being towed to a scrapyard in Turkey when the line broke and it ran aground.

Mammoet Salvaging pumped out 6,000 litres of diesel fuel over the weekend. It also removed the ship's bilgewater — excess water that does not drain off the side of the deck.

Mike Voigt, director of maritime services for the Canadian Coast Guard, said federal and provincial officials will meet to review the salvage plan.

He said the salvage company has a good reputation.

Voigt also said it's too soon to comment on reports that the hull of the 230-metre vessel is punctured.  

 "I think this is a bit premature to go there. We don't really know what the full status is of any kind of punctures in the hull. Obviously, our preoccupation is any kind of pollution, which we've been focusing on making sure the owners get that [fuel] off," he said.

"So, at this point, we really want to see the salvage plan and work with our colleagues in other departments to find a solution that the owner will implement."

Three attempts to re-float the vessel have failed.

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.

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