Massive operation underway to prevent bunker fuel from spilling into B.C.’s north coast waters

Hundreds of tonnes of bunker fuel is being removed from a rusting ship on the ocean floor along B.C.’s north coast.

U.S. Supply Ship Brigadier General M.G. Zalinski struck a reef and sank nearly 70 years ago.

With the growing fear that the ship’s fuel tanks would soon collapse, the Canadian coast guard launched one of its largest clean-up operations ever.

The 50-million-dollar recovery operation with a crew of over a hundred divers and salvagers got under way last month.

Three thousand liters were taken on the first day.

The rate of pumping will increase over the next several days, with the salvage operation hopefully completed by Christmas.

The Zalinski is less than a hundred feet below the surface, but just a couple of kilometers away the Queen of the North that sits 400 meters down.

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Its fuel tanks full of diesel, less of a concern than the bunker fuel in the Zalinski, but still another big problem for the coast guard in the years to come.