13 September 2012

Salvage group begins pre-demolition on MV Miner:

Preliminary work to remove the MV Miner off Cape Breton is underway at last - nearly a year after the ship ran aground off Scatarie Island.

The salvage group has begun pre-demolition, using a scrap metal structure twice the thickness of the rusting wreck to test their equipment.

“Once we are there, we don’t have the ability to come back,” says Abe Shah of Bennington Salvage Groups. “We don’t want to take a knife to a gun fight.”

Engineers are on site at the MV Miner, mapping where cuts should be made and machines set up. Shah says the vessel’s fragile centre, which is vulnerable to hurricane season storms, will be first to go in demolition which is scheduled to start within eight days.

“It looks like we’ll have 22 to 26 days of beautiful weather coming up and we want to take that middle section out as quickly as possible,” says Shah.

Many in the fishing community of Main-a-Dieu wonder whether the ship will be removed in time to avoid sitting though another winter. A long slew of delays have created doubt among locals that they would ever be rid of the wreck. 

“The cynicism is still there, but I think people have their fingers crossed behind their backs that it is not going to be more of the delay after delay,” says Josephine Kennedy of the Multi-Species Licence Holders Association. “The red tape has been wiped off the books, so we’re just going to sit back and wait.”

Shah plans to cut the ship into larger sections to speed things up through hurricane season. The pieces will then be barged away from Scatarie Island before a provincially-issued permit to work on the wreck expires Dec. 1.

Source: 13 September 2012

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