Arctic Tanker Stuck in Northwest Passage Passes Inspection

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The Merchant Vessel Nanny, seen in this Sept. 1 aerial photograph, was dislodged from a sandbar on Wednesday following a two-day operation to lighten its diesel cargo load. (Canadian Coast Guard)Merchant Vessel Nanny, owned by N.L. company, ran aground Sept. 1 in Arctic passage

A fuel tanker that was stuck in the Northwest Passage for two weeks is allowed to have its diesel cargo pumped back on board for transport to remote Nunavut communities.

The Merchant Vessel Nanny, owned by Newfoundland and Labrador-based Woodward’s Oil Ltd., ran aground on Sept. 1 in a sandbar in Simpson Strait, about 50 kilometres southwest of Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, in the Arctic passage.

With 9.5 million litres of diesel on board, the Merchant Vessel Nanny was stuck in the sandbar until Wednesday, when a second tanker pumped out enough of the fuel cargo — upward of five million litres — to make the grounded vessel float free.

Transport Canada officials told CBC News on Thursday that when the Merchant Vessel Nanny arrived in Gjoa Haven for an underwater inspection, no “significant” safety issues were discovered.

No one from Transport Canada was available on Friday to elaborate on the inspection results.

Officials have said no fuel had spilled from the tanker throughout the time it was grounded.

The tanker was transporting annual diesel fuel shipments to remote western Nunavut communities when it ran off course and hit the sandbar.

With the inspection complete, it is now allowed to resume delivering the fuel shipments.

Transport Canada says it will conduct an investigation on how the Merchant Vessel Nanny ran aground in the first place.

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