Coast guard managing oil from sunken ship

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Canadian Coast Guard’s Environmental Response Team retrieves a Breco Buoy bird scaring device for servicing.— Submitted photo

The Canadian Coast Guard is continuing to work on managing an oil leak from a sunken bulk carrier that ran aground and sank off Fogo Island and Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay in 1985.

A Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokeswoman says weighted neoprene gaskets will be used to seal the cracks and stop the oil from escaping the Manolis L. The neoprene gaskets will be held in place by Sub Sea Bulkbags which are industry standard and routinely used in drilling and pipeline operations in the offshore oil industry.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Vladykov left St. John's Wednesday, with the necessary equipment, and the operation is expected to be completed by early next week.

"This approach stops the oil leak and the immediate danger to the environment, fishery and animals while providing the opportunity to consider appropriate next steps," the DFO spokeswoman said.

The Canadian Coast Guard is the lead federal agency for all ship-source oil spills or pollution incidents in waters under Canadian jurisdiction.

In cases where the polluter is unknown, unwilling or unable to respond, the Canadian Coast Guard assumes the overall management of the incident as On-Scene Commander (OSC).

The coast guard is working with other departments and partners to manage the oil spill.

Oiled eiders ducks were spotted in the area of Blow Hard Rock between Bacalhau Island and Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay in late March and early April.

After investigating, the coast guard determined the source was the Manolis L.

A remotely operated vehicle was sent down near the wreck site and leaks were identified.

The coast guard has set up a voluntary exclusion zone for marine traffic consisting of three buoys in a triangular formation and booms were set to try to recover oil from the ocean surface.

Robert Grant of the Canadian Coast Guard environmental response team said the operation is both "complex and dangerous," considering the harsh winds and wave action off the province's northeast coast.

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Organizations: Canadian Coast Guard, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, OSC

Geographic location: Change Islands, Notre Dame Bay, Fogo Island St. John's Bacalhau Island

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