A vessel that lost its engine and blew aground off Rose Blanche the weekend is now free of the shoal it was caught on.
© — Submitted photo
A Canadian Coast Guard helicopter approaches the cargo ship MV John I Saturday near Rose Blanche off the province’s southwest coast.
The MV John I was travelling from Spain to Montreal to pick up freight. Friday morning, the 600-foot bulk carrier lost power and began drifting parallel to the shoreline on the southern coast of Newfoundland. The ship eventually ran aground Saturday just off Rose Blanche.
Sunday night, a change in wind direction moved the John I moved off the shoal. According to DFO, the vessel remains at anchor.
The grounding of the ship elicited an environmental response.
A Transport Canada surveillance flight Sunday recorded a small sheen on the surface of the water near the vessel. The amount was estimated to be eight litres. The type of fuel causing the sheen was too light to capture or absorb and, according to DFO, dissipated quickly through wind and wave action.
Another surveillance flight Sunday recorded a tiny sheen, estimated to be less than one litre.
A Transport Canada surveillance flight Monday morning confirmed the vessel is floating and is secure on its anchors. No additional sheen on the water was seen.
The tug Ryan Leet owners of the vessel contacted earlier in the weekend before it ran aground arrived on the scene from Nova Scotia on Sunday. The tug made an attempt to place a tow-line on the MV John I but operations were suspended due to deteriorating weather and sea conditions. The tug remains on-scene and will resume operations when conditions permit.
The coast guard vessel, Earl Grey, made route to Port aux Basque Sunday night to load environmental response equipment, including an offshore sweep system which is capable of responding to any pollutant release. The Earl Grey was enroute back to MV John I Monday morning.
The CCGS George R. Pearkes arrived on-scene Sunday evening and monitored the vessel overnight.
The Canadian Coast Guard’s Senior Environmental Response Officers and its Mobile Command Centre arrived in Rose Blanche on Sunday and set-up operations near the lighthouse.
The owners of the John I have activated their agreement with the Eastern Canada Response Corp., which provides marine oil spill services. The Eastern Canada Response Corp. has deployed in Rose Blanche, as well.
The owners have also engaged Svitzer, an international salvage company, to assess and salvage the vessel. The Svitzer salvage team arrived in the province last night. Conditions permitting, members of the team plan to board the MV John I Monday to assess the vessel and determine next steps.
The John I is registered in Panama. The vessel is empty of freight, but is carrying diesel, lube oil and intermediate oil.
Earlier story: Bulk carrier began to drift after losing power
An environmental response for a ship that ran aground off Rose Blanche on the weekend was well underway as of Sunday evening.
The MV John I was travelling from Spain to Montreal to pick up freight. Friday morning, the 600-foot bulk carrier lost power and began drifting parallel to the shoreline on the southern coast of Newfoundland. At that time the vessel was not in danger and had hired a tug — the Ryan Leet, out of Mulgrave, N.S.
As winds shifted, the Canadian Coast Guard ship Earl Grey attempted several times to connect a tow line to the vessel to prevent it from running aground.
The attempts were unsuccessful and just after 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the John I ran aground approximately 600 feet offshore and about 1.6 kilometres from the community of Rose Blanche.
A Cormorant search and rescue helicopter took the 23-man crew off the stranded vessel.
According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the coast guard’s environmental response mobile command centre, along with senior response officers and equipment, were expected in Rose Blanche Sunday evening.
Included in the equipment is an offshore sweep system which is capable of responding to any pollutant release.
A Transport Canada over-flight Sunday morning reported that no pollution had been seen. This supported reports from the Earl Grey, which also monitored the vessel.
The owners have activated their agreement with the Eastern Canada Response Corp., which provides marine oil spill services and which was also on the scene with responders and equipment.
The owners have also engaged Svitzer, an international salvage company, to assess and salvage the vessel.
A salvage team from the U.S. and Netherlands was expected to arrive in Deer Lake late Sunday.
The tug, Ryan Leet, which had been delayed due to ice conditions, arrived Sunday morning.
The MV John I is registered in Panama. The vessel is empty of freight, but is carrying diesel, lube oil and intermediate oil.