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Salvage firm plans tow of grounded tanker off Cape Breton after assessing hull

Salvage firm plans tow of grounded ship

SYDNEY, N.S. — An attempt to pull a grounded tanker off a sandy bottom along the eastern coast of Cape Breton is expected to occur late today.

The Arca 1 ran aground just north of Sydney Mines on Sunday after losing engine power, and its six-member crew was rescued later that day.

Olous Boag, the vice president of McKeil Marine Ltd., says the salvage team had considered beginning to pull the tug during the early morning tide, but decided to make the attempt on the evening high tide instead as they completed assessments on how the tow would occur.

He says that on Monday night the salvage team determined the vessel's flat bottom wasn't damaged and that a large amount of ballast water on the ship could be pumped off to increase the vessel's buoyancy.

The Mexican company that owns the ship is responsible for the costs of removing the tanker.

The federal fisheries department has said the vessel is carrying 15 tonnes of fuel for its engines and that booms are in place around the vessel to protect against environmental damage.

The Montreal-based tanker was en route to Mexico carrying no cargo when it experienced mechanical difficulties. 

The Canadian Press