Nova Scotia

Second attempt to budge stuck carrier fails

An old bulk carrier remains stuck on Scatarie Island, an area off eastern Cape Breton known for its shipwrecks.
This photo was taken Wednesday from a coast guard helicopter. (Canadian Coast Guard)

Another attempt to move a decommissioned barge off Scatarie Island has failed.

The 230-metre MV Canadian Miner was on its way to Turkey to be scrapped when heavy seas Tuesday caused the tow lines to break. It was not carrying cargo and no one was on board.

The area, off eastern Cape Breton, is known for its shipwrecks.

A tug tried to pull the old bulk carrier off the rocks at high tide Thursday, but the tow lines snapped. Another attempt Friday night was also unsuccessful.

The Canadian Coast Guard said the barge's owner and a salvage master, an expert on getting ships off rocks, are flying into Cape Breton Saturday from Greece.

"It's a big ship there, right? It's a 220-metre Laker. For them to tow it is one thing, for them to get it off the rocks another. I think they need a little more horsepower there," said Keith Laidlaw, a senior response officer with the coast guard.

The coast guard has ships and aircraft in the area monitoring the situation.

"Our concern is there is 6.5 metric tonnes of diesel on board the ship used just to run the emergency generator," said Laidlaw. "However, the tank is way above the water line and it would take a catastrophic event in order for there to be a release of product."

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