Coast guard has confirmed in an email it will pump the remaining oil out of a slipped cofferdam on the Manolis L.
This is not the same as pumping all remaining oil out of the paper carrier that sank in the 1980âs near Change Islands.
According to the email, on Dec. 23, an ROV was deployed to inspect the hull and the cofferdam. The cofferdam was put in place along one area of the hull last July to stop a leak but it recently slipped by several meters.
Bob Grant of coast guard described the cofferdam in a past Telegram article as an inverted funnel. Itâs able to hold the equivalent of about three home heating tanks of oil. Coast guard doesnât think that the cofferdam was full when it slipped.
Oil from the Manolis L. has been an issue since last fall when locals started to see sheen on the water and oil on seabirds in the area. Recently there was an increase in the amount of oil seen and coast guard believes this was caused by the slipping of the cofferdam.
The ROV dive determined that there is still a small amount of fuel discharging from the original tear in the hull but coast guard says this oil is non-recoverable and will dissipate through wave action. The email highlights the plan to replace the cofferdam with another one of different design.
âWe have engaged a naval architect to design a new cofferdam that should reduce the impact of ocean currents on the installation. The new cofferdam will be locally manufactured. It is larger and heavier than the original cofferdam, and is designed to allow additional weights to be added if required,â coast guardâs Jan Woodford said in the email.
The hope is that the new cofferdam will be installed in early January providing that weather and sea ice conditions are suitable for the work to be done safely. By the end of January the area is usually ice-covered. Operations to install the new cofferdam will be based from the town of Carmanville, including pollution response equipment and vessels.
During the ROV dive, coast guard also confirmed that a neoprene seal they installed the summer near the middle of the ship continues to work. They also never discovered any new cracks in the hull.
Coast guard says it has received two official reports of oiled birds or oil sheening since December 24. They urge the public to report any oil sighting to the Environmental Emergencies Line (709) 772-2083 or 1-800-563-9089.