The bow and stern of a British oil tanker that split in two off Canada's East Coast were drifting away from land, reducing the pollution risk on Friday (16 March).
TV Distressed tanker off Nova Scotian Coast of Canada (aircraft wing in foreground).
TV Bow of tanker raised above water. (2 SHOTS)
TV Coastguard ship.
TV Stern half of tanker and FULL VIEW of tanker.
GROSSKURTH: "The scene minutes after Ronald Bell was hoisted to safety from the deck of the Kurdistan. A Canadian Armed Forces helicopter rescued the British seamen after he had spent a cold night alone on deck. The other forty members of the crew were picked up from life-crafts by a Coastguard vessel last night. High seas and strong winds soiled initial attempts to rescue the Chief Officer.
"The Coastguard ship is standing by waiting for the two halves to go down. The bow and stern have now drifted about two kilometres apart. Northing is definite, but it appears the Kurdistan was damaged when it struck heavy ice. The tanker was on her way to Sept-IIes, Quebec carrying thousand tons of bunker sea oil. But from the aircraft there are no signs of a spill."
REPORTER: CHRIS GROSSKURTH
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Background: The bow and stern of a British oil tanker that split in two off Canada's East Coast were drifting away from land, reducing the pollution risk on Friday (16 March). All 41 crew members of the 19,869 ton Kurdistan were rescued. Canadian Environment Department Officials estimated that as much as a third of the 29,662 tons of heavy fuel oil aboard the Kurdistan may have spilled when the vessel broke up in rough, ice-strewn seas on Thursday (15 March). The NBC's Chris Grosskurth reports.