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Thorco Crown Safe in Sydney

The Thorco Crown was successfully towed to Sydney by Svitzer Bedford, and tied up last night. The vessel was sailing of Newfoundland, when she suffered an Engine room Fire and lost power. Thorco Crown is 3 years old. Svitzer has 3 tugs based in the port Hawksbury area. After the Thorco Crown Lost power, the CCGS William Alexander was able to take her under tow.

 

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The Last Tribal, HMCS Athabaskan to be Paid off in March

Next weeks Council agenda contains an item for DND requesting a Flypast. March 10. For the paying off of HMCS Athabaskan. The good news, is that this paying off includes a Sailpast.

the Motion Reads:

That Halifax Regional Council grant permission for the Royal Canadian Air Force to conduct a low-level flyby, as low as 500 feet over the water, of two CH-124 Sea Kings as they escort HMCS ATHABASKAN during the final sail past on Friday, March 10, 2017 in conjunction with the paying off ceremony.

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Tall Ships 2017 Attendees

The Tall Ships will be in Halifax July 29-Aug 1st this year. A partial list of Vessels Attending the Tall ships event in Halifax is Below. These vessels will depart Halifax for Lahave France. Additional vessels will take part in an outport program throughout August. Of Note – The Esquimalt based RCN Sail Training Vessel HMCS Oriole is due to participate. Notably absent is the Draken Harald Hårfagre, the Viking longboat currently wintering in Mystic Seaport, though she may participate in the other program.

Alexander von Humboldt II
Atyla
Blue Clipper
Bluenose II
Esmeralda
Geronimo
Gulden Leeuw
Jolie Brise
Mist of Avalon
Nadezhda
Oostershelde
HMCS Oriole
Peter von Danzig
Regina Germania
Rona II
Sorca
Spaniel
Spirit of South Carolina
St Lawrence II
Union
Vahine
Wylde Swan

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Vega Omega Kicks off Tropical Shipping’s service

 

Today marked the beginning of Tropical Shipping’s service from Halifax. They recently re-located from the port of Saint John, after they were unable to reach an agreement with the new terminal operator there. They specialize in container services to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Tropical Shippings parent company is American, so unlike other services calling in the region from Halifax, they do not stop in Cuba.

 

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Arca 1 aground off Sydney.


Above photos from don. Used with permission
DFO is reporting that the former Montreal based bunkering tanker Arca 1 has run aground off Sydney NS. JRCC Confirmed that the Vessel lost power, and went aground at 10am.

 

Location of Arca 1. Red dot in upper left corner.

The vessel was recently sold to Dominican interests after being laid up, and was bound for the Caribbean, with a stop in Shelburne, likely for a survey or work period.

Designed to work in sheltered waters of the port of Montreal the vessel was skirting the coast, and sheltering from weather. She was built at Port Weller in 1963 as Imperial Lachine and changed hands a few times. She finally was laid up for sale in 2014.

More to follow

Updated 13:47. Images from JRCC via twitter.

UPDATE:15:20 – Crew Hoisted off. Vessel is in the surf zone, and will probably get pushed higher up onto the beach/ torn apart.

See  Shipfax for a better description of the vessel. The engines are located on deck, and could easily be overcome by following seas.

 

Update 0900 01/09:

Looks like CCGS Earl Grey and several tugs, including Robert Mckeil Arrived on scene over night. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to Sydney. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

UPDATE 14:30:

TSB has arrived on Scene. Tugs have returned to port – Tim Mckeil was also in attendance (Mckeil has an operation in Sydney) NASP Overflights to monitor for pollution continue.

 

Update 1600:

Offshore wind forecast tomorrow morning. An attempt will be made to pull her of the ground then. High Tide is at 6:31am tomorrow, so I would guess that’s when they will try.

 

Update 2100:

Mckeil will be performing the salvage on the 6:30am High Tide. The plan is to have the Small tug Kaliutik attempt to pull the Arca 1 free. If she cant do it, she will run a tow line to the Tim Mckeil, 1/2 mile off shore in deeper water, who can offer a more powerful pull. Apparently the bottom is sandy there, so there is little damage to the ship, and once free will be towed into Sydney.

The owners, Mexician Oil Company Petroil, have been using Inchcape Shipping Services as agents. Inchcape hired Mckeil to do the salvage work.

I have also learned from industry Sources that the Captain is believed to be American, but the other 5 crew members are Canadian.

Update 2345:

Crews boarded the vessel to prepare for the tow earlier tonight.

 

Update: 0800 01/10

unconfirmed – Looks like she is still aground. seas look calm, so Im guessing shes really stuck in the sand. CCGS Earl grey was headed into port earlier.

Update 1100:

Reports are (from Local Xpress) that they will go for tonight’s high tide instead. Salvage crews will pump out ballast water which should lighten the vessel. there is no damage to the hull. High tide tonight is at 6:31, and tonight’s will be about 20cm higher then this mornings tide.

Update 1500:

CG reports towline is attached. deballasting operations are underway.

NASP overflight photo from earlier today.

update 1600:

found this photo on Facebook – shows the drive units raised out of water.

Update 1630: looks like dewatering has raised the vessel

Update 0830 01/11:

The attempt last night to pull Arca 1 off the shore failed. Mckeil is reporting needing a larger tug, which will take a couple of days to arrive. As well, weather is deteriorating, which will cause a few days delay. Salvage crews pumped ballast water back in to ensure the vessel stays put.

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2016 – Year in Review

Container Shipping Events:

ACL’s New G4 Vessels made maiden appearances with Atlantic Star, Atlantic Sail and Atlantic Sea making appearances. ACL also committed to the Port of Halifax until 2022 and projects a doubling of volume.

May brought the arrival of CMA-CGM Tage, at 9300teu, the largest container ship to call in Halifax, and the first to have the accommodation block forward. Her sister CMA-CGM Rhone called in December.  Dinkeldeip was replaced on the St. Pierre Run by Nolhanava. Halterm also picked up some new Toplifts, and Yard Tractors.

OffShore Events:

in offshore news, the Stenna Icemax drill rig, working for shell lost its riser in heavy weather. a eplacement was shipped, assembled at pier 9, and delivered to the IceMax. the Delay caused the charter of Jones Tide to End Early. All Seas pipe Layer Audacia also stopped in port to pick up supplies.

RCN Events:

In Navy News, HMCS Toronto finished FELEX, marking the end of that program. HMCS St Johns was deployed, and had prework done on the Synchrolift. SPS Patiño filled in for HMCS Preserver, as fleet AOR. Preserver was Decommissioned in October. HMCS Iroquois was also towed for scrap.  The RCN also Hosted Exercise Cutlas Furey which brought visits from a number of foreign Naval Vessels.

Visiting Naval vessels include USS Hampton, USCGC Neah Bay, ARM Cuauhtémoc, USS New Mexico, USS DetroitARC Gloria, USCGC Tahoma,USCGC Bristol Bay

Other Events:

The Yarmouth Ferry came back, this time run by Bay Ferries (again) and with a new High Speed Catermaran vessel (Again) leased from the US Navy. Nova Star, the previous operator declared bankruptcy. In the Bulk Carrier world, CSL and Algoma Bought vessels from Oldendorf, who was one of there Vessel pool partners, renaming them.  Svitzer bought a tug, and setup an operation in Montreal. Former Svitzer tug Point Vim also returned, moving cable by barge to Newfoundland.

Shipyard Events:

The HMCS Harry Dewolf AOPS continued construction and steel was cut for construction of the second ship. Atlantic Towing also bought 2 new Supply Vessels. The tops arrived separately from the Bottoms. Some assembly required.

The Year Ahead:

So what to expect for 2017? The major shakeups in container lines alliances to take effect. The Arrival of Tropic Shipping January 9th, from Saint Johns. Expect to see the final 2 ACL G4 Vessels to Appear, and the roll-out of HMCS Harry Dewolf for mega block assembly in the spring. Also Tall ships are coming.

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Sydney MegaPort!?!!

so the port of Sydney Nova Scotia is attempting to develop a megaport called Nova Port. The Idea is that it will be the Newest and greatest port on the east coast, and container lines and their 18000 TEU ships will flock to the port. The development is being done by SHIP Sydney Harbour Investment Partners, which includes China Communications Construction Company, Canderel Group, and Bechtel.

yesterday they announced a partnership with Ports America to run the thing. SHIP has said that they will start construction as soon as they sign up sufficient business. Its not going to happen.

First, Sydney Isn’t close to anything. getting containers to and from the port will be a pain. Sydney is 4 hours further up the road from Halifax, and the rail line, Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway, is near abandonment, having seen the last train from Sydney in December 2014 and likely in need of a massive overhaul to carry container traffic. A previous container service by Terra Transport via Marine Atlantic ferry  to Newfoundland, was re-routed to Halifax in 1997.  – in part because CN was uninterested in running trains to Cape Breton, favoring Halifax instead. this likely hasen’t changed, and its doubtful  CN will be interested in having to deal with the traffic, as will will only serve to slow down their existing trains.

Second, they keep referring to attracting Ultra Large container vessels, however no line currently has them calling on the East Coast of North America. while this might change, the large volumes occur in the pacific trade, and can justify these vessel sizes. its unlikely they will make the trip around when the smaller classes already service the routes with excess capacity.

Third – the only way they can make a business case is if they can keep the cost of container handling lower then any other East coast port. Since most of the costs to handle containers is labour, they will either automate, reducing jobs, or attempt to keep the facility non union and pay lower wages then any other port.

Finally, of note, Ports America abandoned its lease in Oakland, declaring bankruptcy for its operation there. That terminal handled 1/5th the traffic in the port of Oakland, which ran 2.4 million teu’s in 2014. Port Americas share of traffic in Oakland was about 100,000teu more then that entire port of Halifax handled last year. If they cant make that operation work – how are they going to make Sydney work.

My thought is SHIP is basically playing with other peoples money. They will make money whether anything is built or not. they will collect management fees, market the investment opportunity, and collect government subsidies. I don’t think any major shipping line is ever going to want to call on Sydney, and this mega port will never be built.

Look, Sydney NS does have a business case for port development. It has an excellent location in the Gulf of St Lawrence, close to Newfoundland. and inland waters. Its a central location for a tug base, or many other marine services. But a mega container port. no way.

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FELEX Finished – HMCS Toronto Handed back to RCN

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HMCS Toronto was handed back to the navy this morning – the 7th and final Ship to go through the FELEX program at Halifax Ship yards. HMCS Fredericton is the first FELEX’d ship to see overseas deployment, and is currently serving with Nato in Europe.

HMCS Halifax was the first ship to complete the Upgrades, Being handed back to the navy in January 2013.

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