New cofferdam installed on the Manolis L.

Josh Pennell
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The Manolis L. has been plugged once again.

Canadian Coast Guard personnel at the site of the sunken ship Manolis L.

The redesigned cofferdam to collect oil leaking from the sunken paper carrier has been installed.

Sam Whiffen, communications officer with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), confirmed Tuesday that on Saturday the Canadian Coast Guard completed the three-day operation to install the new cofferdam. The first was installed last summer, but slipped, letting the oil it had trapped spill from the leaking ship.

A cofferdam collects leaking oil and has a tube leading to the surface that allows it to be drained. It was determined that ocean conditions at the site of the Manolis L. were such that the first cofferdam wasn’t equipped to deal with the extreme environment.

The Manolis L. sank near Change Islands in the mid-1980s. In a DFO email, the new cofferdam is described as being equipped with a seal and added weights to secure its placement on the ship.

While at the location, the team deployed four underwater current meters and five temperature sensors to record the strength and direction of subsea currents and ocean temperature.

This information will be used by DFO and the coast guard to better understand conditions near the wreck. That information will be used to support ongoing operations at the site. No oil was detected escaping from the new cofferdam and there was no oil detected on the surface of the water after its installation, Whiffen said.

The coast guard plans to return to the site after the winter ice moves from the area to drain oil collected by the cofferdam. The vessel, neoprene seals and cofferdam will then also be inspected.

There has been a growing public outcry for the oil from the sunken ship to be removed permanently. So far, the government has not committed to any such operation.

Organizations: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canadian Coast Guard

Geographic location: Change Islands

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