The Canadian Coast Guard will be taking the oil from a submerged World War II ship to prevent damages to the environment.
The organization announced today that the Brigadier General M.G. Zalinksi, a U.S. transport vessel, has been monitored since it was discovered in 2003, but due to deteriorating conditions they decided now is the time to do this “significant operation” to protect the environment.
“The Canadian Coast Guard is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians and protecting the environment,” said the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard Marc Gregoire in a news release. “Throughout the operation, we look forward to engaging and collaborating with our partners to ensure the operation proceeds successfully.”
The vessel ran aground during a storm and sank in 1946 in the Grenville Channel, about 100 km south of Prince Rupert, and is approximately halfway between Prince Rupert and Kitimat. It is lodged upside down in 34 metres of water about 20 metres from shore.
The Canadian Coast Guard say they’ve taken measures to conduct emergency repairs to prevent and stop any leaking oil, but as the state of the vessel deteriorates, the Coast Guard has determined that to prevent any harm to the environment, a significant operation should be undertaken to remove the oil from the vessel.
The Canadian Coast Guard will be the on-scene commander for the duration of the operation, directing the recovery and the removal of marine pollutants from the vessel and actively monitoring the operation. The Canadian Coast Guard has also engaged the province of British Columbia and local First Nations groups to solicit their feedback on the operation.
On July 26, 2013, Public Works and Government Services Canada posted two requests for proposal seeking a third-party to conduct the oil removal operation and oil spill response services to assist in the case that any oil leaks from the vessel as the operation progresses.
It is expected that the operation will begin in September 2013 and will conclude in December 2013.