Laxar Fiskeldi hopes to raise sunken barge

The owners of the salmon feed boat which sank during a fierce storm in an east Iceland fjord last weekend say they are looking at plans to refloat the vessel.
The 25 metre long Muninn now lies 40 metres below the surface at Reyðarfjörður with 10,000 litres of diesel oil and 300 tonnes of salmon feed still on board, prompting earlier pollution fears. It is thought a buildup of ice on the outer structure may have caused the sinking
Morgunbladid, Iceland’s main newspaper, reports Jens Garðar Helgason, managing director of the owning company, Laxar Fiskeldi , as saying he does not think there is a high probability that oil will leak into the sea in any significant quantity.
He said divers had been down to the vessel and found that no oil had escaped, adding: “We will continue to assess the situation and ensure that no oil can leak from the fuel tanks.”
Air holes and other ways fuel could get out have all been closed up.
Morgunbladid is also reporting, however, that the harbour authorities have found some evidence of oil, but they don’t know how much or whether it is from the Muninn.
The next step will be to see if the boat can be successfully brought to the surface. Divers are expected to go back again in the next few days to look at ways of refloating the boat. But it may be a few days before if it is known if that is possible.
Helgason explained: “The barge itself is complete at the bottom of the fjord, but there has been extensive damage to technical equipment on board. We estimate that the cost of the damage is between three and four hundred million Icelandic kroner (£1.7m to £2.2m).”


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