Third effort fails to free bulk carrier stuck off C.B.

by Hans | September 26th, 2011

Vessel’s owner plans to try again. A decommissioned bulk carrier remains grounded on rocky Scatarie Island off eastern Cape Breton after a third attempt to refloat the vessel failed Saturday evening.

”The ship is still stuck and they will try again tomorrow,” Canadian Coast Guard spokesman Steve Bornais. The coast guard has been monitoring the area with aircraft and ships since the vessel was grounded on Tuesday. It is the ship’s owner who is responsible for finding a way to move the bulk carrier, said Bornais. On Saturday, the team charged with the ship’s removal waited for extreme high tide and then tried, unsuccessfully, to pull it off the island with more force than the previous two attempts.

During the first effort to move the bulk carrier a tow line connected to the tug snapped. A second effort on Friday was also unsuccessful. “I’m not sure if they’re going to make a new plan or not,” said Bornais late Saturday. “They’ll be examining it and seeing what else they can do.”

The carrier, now called the Miner and formerly the Canadian Miner, was under tow on its way to Turkey to be scrapped when the tow line broke in heavy seas and the ship ran aground. There was nobody on the vessel and there were no injuries. The 230-metre vessel was not carrying any cargo but the coast guard estimates there is about 6,500 litres of diesel fuel onboard.

There were no pressing concerns that the fuel would leak, unless something serious occurred, officials said. Bornais said the last message he got indicated the hull was “generally intact.”

The Greek owner of the vessel was scheduled to fly to Cape Breton Saturday with a salvage master experienced in moving ships off rocky areas. The bulk carrier plied the Great Lakes during its working life. Coast guard officials described Scatarie Island as an area known for shipwrecks. It lies just over a mile off Cape Breton’s eastern shore near Main-a-Dieu.

Source: The Chronicle Herald; Photo Canadian Coast Guard

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