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Coast guard begins work to secure derelict ship that risks polluting N.S. river


BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – The Canadian Coast Guard has started work to secure a derelict navy vessel that poses an environmental risk to Nova Scotia’s LaHave River.

The agency said in a briefing today that a federal environmental team arrived at the site Dec. 1, and contractors began work on the Cormorant the next day.

The first week focused on securing the vessel at the dock in the port of Bridgewater, N.S., with the installation of eight new 60-metre mooring lines and two large fenders.

The next step will be to stabilize the vessel and remove bilge water and oil to assist in the righting of the ship, beginning in January.

The coast guard found in a study earlier this year that there was an imminent threat of pollution from the vessel secured at the privately owned port facility.

It also determined there was no evidence of ongoing maintenance of the vessel, its mooring lines were in poor condition, sea valves weren’t sealed and the ship was listing noticeably to one side.

The work is being carried out under provisions of the Canada Shipping Act, which stipulate that the owner of the vessel is to pay the costs.

However, a spokeswoman for the federal Fisheries Department said there is no cost estimate yet and it remains to be determined how the money will be recovered from the private owners.

 

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