Canadian Coast Guard will conduct clean-up operation in order to remove the oil from a ship Zalinski that sank 67 years ago in Grenville Channel on B.C. The operation will cost $50 million in order the oil of the bomb-laden U.S. army transport ship to be extracted. The actions taken by the coast guard are friendly to the environment but many people considered the whole operation to be expensive and also that U.S. had to pay part of the price because at least that is their ship that sank.
More than 150 people will participate in the project with 3 floating fishing lodges. Roger Girouard, incident commander for the Zalinski operation said:
"We decided not to do this on the cheap,"
"This is a big one, no question about it. The idea is to do it as cleanly and safely as we can."
Representatives of different federal departments will take part in the extraction of the tonnes of oil in the ship, plus some contractors and including Mammoet, the Dutch-owned firm that is extracting the fuel with subcontractor Global Diving and Salvage of Seattle. The operation is quite complex and oil tanker spill could create a disaster if something goes wrong.
This project could be a good training for future possible problems that could occur because of the increasing marine traffic on the north coast. Sometimes environmental disasters could not be prevented.
The ship Zalinski was built in 1919 and ran aground 67 years ago about 100 kilometres south of Prince Rupert in the Inside Passage. In that time the vessel was carrying bombs, ammunition, spare truck parts from Seattle to Alaska. People on board the ship survived the incident.
The wreck is located 2.5 kilometres south of James Point in Lowe Inlet. Zalinski was built with fuel capacity of 700 tonnes, but probably was not full when departed from Seattle, but still large amount of oil is on the ship. There are still bombs and ammunition in the vessel but they will not explode. The operation of removing the oil from the Zalinski started in 2008.