News / Canada

Coast guard will contain oil from shipwreck

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The coast guard says it will install an underwater containment dam to catch small amounts of oil seeping from a shipwreck in Newfoundland's Notre Dame Bay.

Spokesman Bob Grant says there are plans Monday to install a so-called coffer dam to catch tiny amounts of escaping oil.

He says the dam is like an inverted funnel that will collect oil beads about the size of marbles.

The Liberian-flagged Manolis L (muh-NO'-liss ell) sank near Change Islands in 1985 with more than 500 tonnes of fuel oil and diesel onboard.

The coast guard used neoprene gaskets in May to plug two cracks in the ship's hull.

Since then, Grant says tiny amounts of oil have leaked from a crack in the damaged bow of the ship.

The coast guard says there's no evidence gathered by a remote operating vehicle that large amounts of oil are at risk of escaping.

Liberal MP Scott Simms said this week there's a proposal before the federal Treasury Board to have Ottawa pay a company to pump oil out of the vessel.

He is calling for the cleanup to happen before rough weather returns to the region.

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