Clean up of the Pender Lady, the 87-foot fishing lodge that sank in Naden Harbour last Monday, is going well so far, according to a Coast Guard official.
“We’re working as quickly as possible to resolve this. So far the weather has cooperated. We’re doing our best to keep costs down,” says Don Rodden, Coast Guard Superintendent of Environmental Response for the Pacific Region.
The lodge sank in 55 feet of water and the deck came apart from the hull and then the hull sank. There’s debris and oil floating on the water, and the oil has been boomed to contain it, and so far no oil has polluted the shore.
The Pender Lady had a 5000-litre fuel tank, but its owner did not know how full it was when the vessel went down, says Mr. Rodden.
The coast guard has recovered 2000-litres of oil and water. This is considered a small spill, but because it happened near shore in a sensitive area, the Coast Guard is very concerned to keep it contained. So far they have been successful, says Mr. Rodden. Workers walk the shoreline twice a day to make sure no oil comes to shore.
The Coast Guard is in charge of the clean up, but two private companies, Wainwright Marine and Burrard Clean Operations, have been hired to assist. Two barges are on site, one with a crane to lift debris out of the water, the other to carry it away .
The vessel will not be repairable, says Mr. Rodden. The Coast Guard has applied to Environment Canada and the province for permission to burn as much of the debris as possible. Plastics and other materials that cannot be burned, will be taken to Prince Rupert for disposal.
The Coast Guard hopes the clean up will take from a week to ten days. About 20 people are involved, with an estimated total cost of $200,000. The vessel’s owner will be charged for the clean up, says Mr. Rodden.
The vessel sank early Monday morning (June 23). No one was hurt, but 28 people were taken to safety by the coast guard.
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