There’s a Fundy story that tells about a fisherman visiting his old boat at the wharf. It is sunk … totally sunk. “Funny.” he says, “I can’t figure it out. It never did that before.” Some folks (mostly mainlanders) don’t get it and after reading this story I am beginning to understand that this fatalistic humour can be misunderstood. Imagine! The Arrow has been on the bottom for 45 years and it (finally) starts leaking.
Ryan Green, acting superintendent of environmental response with the Atlantic region of the Canadian Coast Guard, responds with … “We didn’t expect anything, because it had never leaked before.” Am I missing something? Art MacKay
SS Arrow leaks oil in Chedabucto Bay 45 years after sinking off Nova Scotia
‘Very thick and viscous’ oil coming unstuck from Liberian-flagged ship that sank in 1970
CBC News Posted: Oct 27, 2015 7:30 AM AT Last Updated: Oct 27, 2015 2:28 PM AT
Divers are removing 20,000 litres of oil left over from one of Nova Scotia’s worst oil spills, 45 years after the ship at the centre of the disaster sank in Chedabucto Bay.
The SS Arrow went down in heavy rain and wind in February 1970 after the Liberian-flagged tanker struck rocks. Crews pumped it out then, but earlier this month officials spotted oil on the water.
Ryan Green, acting superintendent of environmental response with the Atlantic region of the Canadian Coast Guard, says a team of four divers take turns swimming into the wreck and cleaning the oil out.
“We didn’t expect anything, because it had never leaked before,” Green said on Monday.
“Inside the ship, the oil is very thick and viscous and it’s a challenge to get it out. It sticks to the inside and over the last 40 years it’s come free and risen to the surface.”
They’ve removed about 6,000 litres of oil, meaning about 14,000 litres likely remains in the sunken ship.
‘It’s a very difficult job’
They want to get the rest of it removed as soon as possible, but the conditions are difficult. Divers can only work in 90-minute stretches and must dive 15 metres into the wreck.
“It’s a very difficult job,” Green said. “They have to be careful all the time. They’re in a very challenging position inside the wreck.”