NS: Community group maintains positive outlook on MV Miner

Greg McNeil
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The Cape Breton Post

Despite the fact the decaying bulk carrier remains on Scatarie Island, the Main-a-Dieu and Area Community Development Association remains confident the vessel will soon be salvaged.

A water-level view of the MV Miner aground on Scatarie Island. - Steve Wadden, Cape Breton Post file

[SYDNEY, NS] — Today marks the one-year anniversary of the MV Miner’s unexpected landing on the shoals of Scatarie Island.

Despite the fact the decaying bulk carrier remains on the small island, one community group lobbying for its removal remains confident the vessel will soon be salvaged.

“Eventually is the issue, of course, because it can’t go on much longer by definition,” said Sean Howard of the Main-a-Dieu and Area Community Development Association. “The province has confidence in the new plan, Bennington obviously thinks it now has a plan to work with over the next pre-winter period, which is dwindling by the day, not to mention the autumn storms.”

Over the last week, Bennington Group, a New York-based salvage company, has been preparing its latest plan to cut up and remove the ship.

Abe Shah, chief operating officer of Bennington Group, said a demolition survey on the vessel was completed Wednesday morning, and once some equipment is registered they will begin to cut.

“In a couple of more days and then we are just going to look at the weather and sail for it,” Shah said during a phone interview. “In another two days we should be pretty much ready.”

Shah said there were no surprises uncovered during the recent survey.

“As a matter of fact, she is ready to go. There are some tracks and stuff (on the ship), so it is very easy for us take it out. The tracks are just getting a little bigger.”

Not having any expertise on scrapping, Howard said the group has to put its confidence in what Bennington and various government officials have been telling them.

“That doesn’t mean that if the delays continue and we slip into October without real work being done that we are not going to have to try to get together with various agencies and try to think of possible contingencies.”

Despite the group’s confidence in the current salvage plan, they have pledged to review the issue on a day-to-day basis.

“We’ve had people going out most days and reporting back to us. The fishermen have been amazing from the beginning. Originally, it looked like they were going to have to disrupt the fishing season, which they agreed to, because of the greater good. And then it’s been put back and put back and they’ve stayed on it.”

While confident in the abilities of Bennington, the group is disappointed with a lack of consultation and updates on the project from the salvage company.

Still, Howard said the group trusts Bennington will “keep their word and do the job.”

Organizations: Bennington Group, Main-a-Dieu and Area Community Development Association

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