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Work continuing to remove oil from Manolis L wreck

['<p>The <em>Manolis L. </em>as it sunk off the coast of Change Islands in 1985.</p>']
['<p>The <em>Manolis L. </em>as it sunk off the coast of Change Islands in 1985.</p>']

On water operations are ongoing to remove bulk oil from the Manolis L shipwreck near Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay this week.

An emailed statement from the Canadian Coast Guard says that Ardent Global LLC., the company awarded the contract to remove the oil, is tapping into the hull to access the recoverable oil inside and pump it out. 

“Coast Guard Environmental Response crews and equipment are in place and prepared to respond quickly if there is any release of pollution from the wreck site,” the statement reads.

In April the federal government announced the $15.1-million contract for the removal of bulk oil from the Manolis L shipwreck to the delight of the many fishing communities along the province's northeast coast who have been fighting for it for some time.

Ardent Global, according to its website, is a specialist in emergency preparedness and response, wreck removal and offshore decommissioning. The company is the one that raised the cruise liner Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy.

The Manolis L sank to a depth of more than 200 feet in 1985, and lay dormant until April 2013, when cracks in the hull, coupled with a powerful storm, allowed some fuel oil to reach the surface. Since then the Canadian Coast Guard has been monitoring the Manolis L and conducting pollution containment operations.

During a $5-million technical assessment carried out in the summer of 2016 by Resolve Salvage of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., it was discovered that much of the cargo of heavy fuel oils and diesel that was thought to have gone down and remained in the tanker had escaped — some of it at the time of the grounding and sinking through ripped-open tanks, while more was released gradually over the years through cracks in the hull.

The Manolis L sailed with 522 tonnes of oils onboard - combining both the diesel and the heavy oils.

The amount remaining on board is in the range of 113 to 151 tonnes.

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