A surveillance flight Monday afternoon over the site of the Manolis L shipwreck in Notre Dame Bay was unable to detect any oil on the surface of the water, and no oil sheen, the Canadian Coast Guard said today.
A multi-beam sonar image provided by the Canadian Hydrographic Service shows the hull of the Manolis L paper carrier resting in 80 meters of water. — Submitted photo
In addition, Environment Canada’s “Integrated Satellite Tracking of Polluters” (ISTOP) program did not detect any pollution in the area. The ISTOP program monitors Canada’s coastal waters for pollution through the use and analysis of satellite imagery.
On Friday, the coast guard received a report of an oil sheen on the ocean surface in the vicinity of the sunken vessel. That report was confirmed by a Transport Canada surveillance flight over the area that stated the light oil sheen on the water consisted of about one litre of oil.
The Manolis L sank in 1985 during a storm in an area known as Blow Hard Rock — between Bacalao Island and Change Islands — and lies 82 metres below the surface. Oil leaking from the ship became a concern last winter and spring.
The Friday report of oil on the surface came a day after Coast Guard Environmental Response was on the site and used an underwater ROV to carry out a scheduled survey of the hull of the Manolis L. That inspection found that neoprene seals installed last spring were holding and the coffer dam installed during the summer was working properly.
In May, Coast Guard attached a weighted neoprene gasket to the ship’s hull which successfully sealed one oil leak. A new crack was later found about 100 feet away from the previous leak, in a badly damaged section of the bow. The bow damage occurred when the vessel sank.
Underwater video taken June 27 showed a small, marble-sized drop of oil originating from the crack. Due to the position and nature of the bow crack, that oil seep could not be sealed using a neoprene gasket, thus the coast guard installed the underwater containment and collection mechanism known as a coffer dam.
The coffer dam is similar to an inverted funnel and is designed to trap and collect the oil beads that rise from the hull.
The coast guard says it will continue to monitor and manage the Manolis L site including assessing the latest information.