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Technical assessment underway on the Manolis L.


The Manolis L. lies underneath the waters of Notre Dame Bay, but on the surface there is a flurry of activity keeping a watchful eye on the sunken vessel and the oil it still holds in its tanks.

The ship sank in January 1985 after running aground on Blow Hard Rock off Change Islands. The rock isn’t visible on the day the Canadian Coast Guard has invited various media outlets to join them on the water for an in-depth look at the complex operations surrounding the Manolis L, but the large contingent of people assigned to monitoring the vessel is.

About 120 people including those on the water and at the Incident Command Post (ICP) in Twillingate monitor the situation. Sixty-six of those are coast guard personnel.

There are representatives from the coast guard, Environment Canada, Transport Canada, response teams and Resolve Marine (the company that is completing the technical assessment).

Out on the water there is the Maersk Cutter, a vessel from which a team of 12 divers work in pairs of two to go down to the hull of the Manolis L. and complete drilling operations for the technical assessment.

There is also the Sir Wilfred Grenfell which houses the harbour buster (a device used to collect oil in the event of leakage from the vessel), two pollution response vessels (PRV), two vessels that deploy the harbour buster, a PRV3 used to carry personnel and equipment to contain any oil collected from the cofferdam and a Transport Canada aircraft monitors the surface of the water.

Senior response officer with the Environmental Response branch of the coast guard, Bruce English told The Pilot that support from residents in the area has been invaluable in the success of the operation.

“It makes the job easier when you have the support of local people,” he said. “We came into their town and they do whatever they can to help make our operations a success from moving their boats, to helping with parking areas to bringing coffee for the team.”

 

Technical assessment

The technical assessment is broken down into two phases.

Regional director of Coast Guard Programs and incident commander Anne Miller said, “The first phase was non-invasive hull survey and was completed by ROV (remote operated vehicle) and 3D mapping of the area.”

She went on to explain that the second phase is being done by ROV and divers.

“It entails drilling into the hull to sample and to gauge the capacity of what we find in the hull,” she said.

Each tank is being drilled into to determine contents.

The technical assessment is expected to be complete around Labour Day weekend. Then Marine Resolve will analyze the data, prepare a report and make recommendations on how to proceed with the operation.

 

Dives

Divers can only spend a maximum of 30 minutes underwater with five dives taking place per day.

The first diver will drill a hole with a special drill that has a plug in it to designated areas on the hull. The drill is designed with a valve and container that screws on to the top to ensure no oil is spilled during the drilling.

The second diver collects the sample, closes the valve and then seals the drill hole.

Resolve Marine salvage master Raymond Fortin said, “There has been no oil lost during the collection of samples.”

The team has identified 30 points, which will be drilled and tested for oil.

Because of the crystal clear water, ROV usage and tools on location, Fortin said the operation has been running smoothly and on schedule.

Environmental response specialist with the Environmental Response branch of the coast guard, Dave Humphries — who was the first to complete an aerial survey of the area back in March 2013 when the first oil was reported — explained how the diving operation works.

“Every 33 feet the divers go down is one atmosphere of pressure, so they are down almost 200 feet so they are under about six times the pressure we are (standing on the deck of the CG boat),” he said. “Because of that they breath a special gas — a mix of helium and oxygen.”

It takes the divers about one hour to get down to the Manolis L. because they have to stop and adjust for the pressure, they work for about 30 minutes and then it takes about an hour and half to come back up to the surface.

“It's challenges like this that make the operation that much more complicated,” Humphries said.

The coast guard is providing support and oversight in the execution of the technical assessment as well as having resources on site in the event they are needed.

“We’ve developed plans specific to this area to respond if we need to,” Miller said. “We exercise our response equipment to becoming familiar with the area or engaging our partners like shoreline or wildlife recovery.”

Environment Canada provides weather reports to the team and they also release current monitors to track currents.

All of the coast guard on water resources are staging from Herring Neck.

“On water monitoring of contractor activities and multiple levels of spill response capabilities are available on site,” Miller said. “Aerial surveillance and drift/current monitoring are also being deployed on regular basis so we can become more informed of the currents in the area in the event we would have to respond to oil on the water.”

christy.janes@pilotnl.ca

 

Oil droplets detected on surface near Manolis L.

 

During an aerial surveillance operation last Friday at the site of the Manolis L. a couple drops of oil were detected on the surface of the water.

Approximately 0.03 liters was visually detected.

Senior response officer with the Environmental Response branch of the Canadian Coast Guard, Bruce English said while in the air, “The oil dissipated as it moved about four ship lengths away (300 meters).”

Once the aircraft spotted the oil, photos and video were taken and the coast guard vessel on the water was contacted. The ICP in Twillingate was also kept on top of the surveillance operation.

“We have four levels of response,” English said. “Each vessel has absorbent material to recover the oil and if it gets past that capacity we have inflatable booms that are on the deck of the Sir Wilfred Grenfell, but this was a miniscule amount and quickly dissipated.”

How the oil made its way to the surface couldn’t be determined at the time.

“We’re involved in a very technical operation that involves drilling into the vessel to determine the location and type of oil and it was anticipated that there may be releases of very minor amount of oil,” English said. “But I can’t say for certain that’s the source.”

There was no more oil spotted during the remainder of the aerial surveillance.

The aerial surveillance was carried out by the National Aerial Surveillance Program by Transport Canada.

The aircraft is one of three in Canada and is based out of Moncton, New Brunswick.

The state-of-the-art equipment includes:

• Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) that detects irregularities on the ocean’s surface.

• Infrared/ultraviolet line scanner used to analyze oil slicks.

• Electro-optical Infrared camera system that helps crews identify ships and collect evidence in reduced visability.

• Automatic Identification System that provides vessel identity and voyage information.

• Satellite communications system that allows video streaming in real time or the transmission of data to ground crews.

• Geo-coded digital camera system used to capture still images and video with GPS annotated data.

The ship sank in January 1985 after running aground on Blow Hard Rock off Change Islands. The rock isn’t visible on the day the Canadian Coast Guard has invited various media outlets to join them on the water for an in-depth look at the complex operations surrounding the Manolis L, but the large contingent of people assigned to monitoring the vessel is.

About 120 people including those on the water and at the Incident Command Post (ICP) in Twillingate monitor the situation. Sixty-six of those are coast guard personnel.

There are representatives from the coast guard, Environment Canada, Transport Canada, response teams and Resolve Marine (the company that is completing the technical assessment).

Out on the water there is the Maersk Cutter, a vessel from which a team of 12 divers work in pairs of two to go down to the hull of the Manolis L. and complete drilling operations for the technical assessment.

There is also the Sir Wilfred Grenfell which houses the harbour buster (a device used to collect oil in the event of leakage from the vessel), two pollution response vessels (PRV), two vessels that deploy the harbour buster, a PRV3 used to carry personnel and equipment to contain any oil collected from the cofferdam and a Transport Canada aircraft monitors the surface of the water.

Senior response officer with the Environmental Response branch of the coast guard, Bruce English told The Pilot that support from residents in the area has been invaluable in the success of the operation.

“It makes the job easier when you have the support of local people,” he said. “We came into their town and they do whatever they can to help make our operations a success from moving their boats, to helping with parking areas to bringing coffee for the team.”

 

Technical assessment

The technical assessment is broken down into two phases.

Regional director of Coast Guard Programs and incident commander Anne Miller said, “The first phase was non-invasive hull survey and was completed by ROV (remote operated vehicle) and 3D mapping of the area.”

She went on to explain that the second phase is being done by ROV and divers.

“It entails drilling into the hull to sample and to gauge the capacity of what we find in the hull,” she said.

Each tank is being drilled into to determine contents.

The technical assessment is expected to be complete around Labour Day weekend. Then Marine Resolve will analyze the data, prepare a report and make recommendations on how to proceed with the operation.

 

Dives

Divers can only spend a maximum of 30 minutes underwater with five dives taking place per day.

The first diver will drill a hole with a special drill that has a plug in it to designated areas on the hull. The drill is designed with a valve and container that screws on to the top to ensure no oil is spilled during the drilling.

The second diver collects the sample, closes the valve and then seals the drill hole.

Resolve Marine salvage master Raymond Fortin said, “There has been no oil lost during the collection of samples.”

The team has identified 30 points, which will be drilled and tested for oil.

Because of the crystal clear water, ROV usage and tools on location, Fortin said the operation has been running smoothly and on schedule.

Environmental response specialist with the Environmental Response branch of the coast guard, Dave Humphries — who was the first to complete an aerial survey of the area back in March 2013 when the first oil was reported — explained how the diving operation works.

“Every 33 feet the divers go down is one atmosphere of pressure, so they are down almost 200 feet so they are under about six times the pressure we are (standing on the deck of the CG boat),” he said. “Because of that they breath a special gas — a mix of helium and oxygen.”

It takes the divers about one hour to get down to the Manolis L. because they have to stop and adjust for the pressure, they work for about 30 minutes and then it takes about an hour and half to come back up to the surface.

“It's challenges like this that make the operation that much more complicated,” Humphries said.

The coast guard is providing support and oversight in the execution of the technical assessment as well as having resources on site in the event they are needed.

“We’ve developed plans specific to this area to respond if we need to,” Miller said. “We exercise our response equipment to becoming familiar with the area or engaging our partners like shoreline or wildlife recovery.”

Environment Canada provides weather reports to the team and they also release current monitors to track currents.

All of the coast guard on water resources are staging from Herring Neck.

“On water monitoring of contractor activities and multiple levels of spill response capabilities are available on site,” Miller said. “Aerial surveillance and drift/current monitoring are also being deployed on regular basis so we can become more informed of the currents in the area in the event we would have to respond to oil on the water.”

christy.janes@pilotnl.ca

 

Oil droplets detected on surface near Manolis L.

 

During an aerial surveillance operation last Friday at the site of the Manolis L. a couple drops of oil were detected on the surface of the water.

Approximately 0.03 liters was visually detected.

Senior response officer with the Environmental Response branch of the Canadian Coast Guard, Bruce English said while in the air, “The oil dissipated as it moved about four ship lengths away (300 meters).”

Once the aircraft spotted the oil, photos and video were taken and the coast guard vessel on the water was contacted. The ICP in Twillingate was also kept on top of the surveillance operation.

“We have four levels of response,” English said. “Each vessel has absorbent material to recover the oil and if it gets past that capacity we have inflatable booms that are on the deck of the Sir Wilfred Grenfell, but this was a miniscule amount and quickly dissipated.”

How the oil made its way to the surface couldn’t be determined at the time.

“We’re involved in a very technical operation that involves drilling into the vessel to determine the location and type of oil and it was anticipated that there may be releases of very minor amount of oil,” English said. “But I can’t say for certain that’s the source.”

There was no more oil spotted during the remainder of the aerial surveillance.

The aerial surveillance was carried out by the National Aerial Surveillance Program by Transport Canada.

The aircraft is one of three in Canada and is based out of Moncton, New Brunswick.

The state-of-the-art equipment includes:

• Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) that detects irregularities on the ocean’s surface.

• Infrared/ultraviolet line scanner used to analyze oil slicks.

• Electro-optical Infrared camera system that helps crews identify ships and collect evidence in reduced visability.

• Automatic Identification System that provides vessel identity and voyage information.

• Satellite communications system that allows video streaming in real time or the transmission of data to ground crews.

• Geo-coded digital camera system used to capture still images and video with GPS annotated data.

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