Coast Guard announces amount of oil recovered during Manolis L operation

From: Canadian Coast Guard

January 10, 2019

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – Making our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier for all Canadians and future generations is a top priority for the Government of Canada.

Today, Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, on behalf of, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that 208.7 cubic metres (208,769 litres) of oil was removed from the Manolis L shipwreck. This is enough oil to fill 1313 oil barrels.

The operation to remove the bulk oil from the Manolis L was led by the Canadian Coast Guard and undertaken by Ardent Global Marine Services. It was successfully completed in September 2018. The operation was conducted using remotely operated vehicles (ROV) in 70 meters of water depth, in cold water of approximately one Celsius. The heavy fuel oil was heated for removal using steam, recovered from the wreck, transported to shore and transferred to an environmental company for proper disposal.

During the bulk oil removal operation, 14 of the tanks onboard the Manolis L were pumped and flushed. The amount of oil recovered exceeded the estimate of 115-150 cubic metres (115,000 – 150,000 litres) that was expected to be in the vessel.

This was the first operation of its kind in these conditions. The success of this operation is an example of the Coast Guard’s ability to effectively address vessels that pose environmental risks.

The Manolis L sank in 1985 off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador and laid dormant until April 2013 when cracks in the hull, coupled with a powerful storm, allowed some oil to reach the surface. Since then, the Canadian Coast Guard conducted monitoring and pollution containment operations.

Additional multimedia

Coast Guard announces amount of oil recovered during Manolis L operation
ROV working to remove oil from the shipwreck.

“I am very pleased to learn that all the oil was successfully removed from the Manolis L wreck. My congratulations to the Coast Guard crew and our partners. Through our Government’s world leading Oceans Protection Plan, we are equipping our Coast Guard with the tools and training they need to undertake operations like the Manolis L bulk oil removal. This will help keep our oceans and waters cleaner, healthier, and safer for generations to come.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Congratulations to our Canadian Coast Guard crews and our partners. The Manolis L is no longer an oil pollution threat thanks to your dedication and professionalism. I wish to acknowledge and thank the Manolis L Citizen’s Response Committee for their efforts as well as the individuals and communities who supported this work. Our Government wants to ensure that we have a healthy marine environment which so many coastal communities rely on.”

Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame

Quick facts

  • The Manolis L was a bulk freighter carrying a load of paper when it sank in 1985 in icy waters. The wreck lies upside down in 70 meters of water. Some oil was observed at the time of sinking, however the amount was unknown. There were no other reports of pollution until 2013.

  • Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response Teams conducted annual maintenance on the wreck to assess the condition of the hull and to contain leaks.

  • In 2016, the Canadian Coast Guard received $6 million to conduct a technical assessment of the Manolis L. The assessment identified specific locations and estimated that the amount of oil remaining was 115-150 cubic metres, in addition to 60 cubic metres of diesel fuel when it sank.

  • A contract valued at $15,106,400.00 was awarded to Ardent Global Marine Services for the removal of oil from the Manolis L. The work was carried out in summer 2018. 208.7 cubic metres of oil was recovered.

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