Monday, May 02, 2005
Transport Canada is trying to determine who owns a derelict ship that ran aground near a wharf in the Northumberland Strait.
The Santa Emma broke free of its moorings in high winds late Thursday and drifted ashore in Cape Tormentine. The old cargo vessel has a large gash in its hull and there's concern of oil leaking into the water. Government officials say so far, there's no evidence of environmental damage. The 131-metre ship had about 30,000 litres of diesel fuel on board, and an unknown amount of bunker C fuel oil. Maurice Landry of Transport Canada says the ship is now tied to the wharf, and part of its hull has been filled with saltwater to stabilize it. "We're also conducting an investigation to determine if there has been any infractions of the Canada Shipping Act, including not properly securing the vessel. Should there be sufficient evidence, we will prosecute." He says workers will remove the oil, and that a Coast Guard crew will remain at the scene in case any spills. The wreck has concerned local scallop fishermen, whose season begins on Monday. The ship is registered in Panama. It had been sitting idle for the past 15 months after failing an inspection in 2004.