Manolis L - Operations - 2018

What’s New?

In January, 2018, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced that the Coast Guard would seek proposals from qualified marine salvage companies to remove recoverable oil remaining in the wreck of the Manolis L. 

On April 12, 2018, a contract valued at $15,106,400.00 was awarded to Ardent Global LLC.

On-water operations are scheduled to commence in summer 2018 to remove all recoverable oil from the wreck and significantly mitigate the threat of future oil leaks. This work will protect the health of the marine environment, coastal communities, and important industries such as fishing and tourism.

Environmental Response team on Manolis L
Environmental Response team on Manolis L

How much oil remains in the Manolis L

Environmental Response team on Manolis L Environmental Response team on Manolis L
Environmental Response team on Manolis L
Environmental Response team on Manolis L

The Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response completed a technical assessment of the Manolis L shipwreck was completed on September 5, 2016.

The report includes analysis of the locations and amounts of oil that remain in the wreck, as well as an assessment of hull integrity. 

When the Manolis L sank in 1985 it was estimated to be carrying 462 cubic metres of oil. The technical assessment indicates that 115-150 cubic metres of hydrocarbons remain trapped in the wreck. This represents 17% of the total capacity of the ship’s tanks at 868 cubic metres. In addition, the Manolis L was carrying about 60 cubic metres of diesel fuel when it sank.

During the technical assessment divers and specialized equipment were deployed to the Manolis L and the hull was drilled into at 31 locations. These areas were probed and sampled. 14 tanks/compartments were found to have at least traces of oil. A survey of the hull found very little deterioration in steel thickness (10% diminution) and the ship is stable on the seabed. 

To prevent further leaks and the threat of pollution from the wreck, the remaining oil aboard the Manolis L would have to be removed.

The technical assessment provides the necessary information that we need to make informed decisions. Coast Guard will continue to monitor the wreck and respond as needed to the threat of pollution.


What happened to the Manolis L?

On January 15, 1985, the Liberian-flagged MV Manolis L, carrying a load of paper, ran aground on Blowhard Rocks and sank near Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland. The vessel lies in approximately 70 metres of water.

When the Manolis L sank, a small amount of oil was observed, but could not be recovered due to the winter sea ice conditions. Over the next 28 years, there were no reports of oil pollution at the site until an intense storm system in the area generated strong sub-surface ocean currents.

On March 31, 2013, the local Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response unit received reports of oil on the water. Their investigation discovered two cracks in the hull of the ship, one 22 inches and one 12 inches, in close proximity to each other, and each leaking a small quantity of oil.

Bathymetric  map

Bathymetric map shows Blowhard Rocks, the location and depth of the MV Manolis L.


What is the Canadian Coast Guard doing to monitor and prevent pollution from the Manolis L?

operations on the Manolis L

CCGS George R. Pearkes and a barge carry out operations on the Manolis L.

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting our oceans from ship-sourced oil spills. The Canadian Coast Guard, along with its partners, has regularly monitored the wreck of the Manolis L and has taken effective measures to mitigate the threat to the environment.

Upon discovery of the original leaks in March 2013, Coast Guard contained the oil using weighted neoprene sealants and a cofferdam to catch small amounts of oil that might escape.

Occasionally, small releases of oil have been observed, but the frequency has been sporadic and appears to occur only when there are increased undersea currents resulting from storm surges.

Since March 2013, Coast Guard has successfully completed a number of underwater inspections of the hull and has taken measures to ensure the continued effectiveness of the containment seals and cofferdam. Coast Guard monitors the Manolis L site through regular surveillance by its marine fleet and helicopters, and information obtained from Transport Canada and Provincial Aerospace Limited aerial observations.

Coast Guard continues to monitor the Manolis L site with the assistance of Transport Canada aerial surveillance and CCG fleet vessels, and continues to be prepared to move swiftly to respond if the need arises. Any oil pollution sightings should be reported as soon as possible to the Environmental Emergencies Line (709) 772-2083 or 1-800-563-9089.

cofferdam at the Manolis  L site
cofferdam at the Manolis  L site

Crew install the new cofferdam at the Manolis L site, part of CCG’s Environmental Response pre-winter operations in December 2014. CCG successfully removed oil collected from the previous cofferdam, installed a new one, and inspected the sealants.

cofferdam at the Manolis  L site
cofferdam at the Manolis  L site

CCG Environmental Response team pumped out the cofferdam on Manolis L and replaced it, June 2015.


What is the cost of the Government of Canada’s operations surrounding the Manolis L?

Since 2013, the costs associated with operations on the Manolis L have been borne by the Canadian Coast Guard and other government departments involved, as part of departmental operational budgets. From May 2013 to September 2017, Coast Guard’s associated operational cost was $8.2 million.

This figure includes the $6 million technical assessment done in August/September 2016 to determine the best method to remediate the vessel, and minimise risk to the environment (Budget 2016 funded).

The Marine Liability Act sets out the provisions of the Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF), the Canadian fund established for the purpose of ensuring the payment of claims for marine oil pollution that originates from ships. The system is designed to cover the risk of non-payment by ship owners who are responsible for pollution. However, the Marine Liability Act restricts the recovery of costs under the SOPF to five years from the date of the original pollution occurrence, which in this case refers to the vessel’s sinking.

How can I get up-to-date-information about the Manolis L?

Through community engagement the Canadian Coast Guard continues to inform local communities, the fishing industry and the public.