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AUSTRALIAN SPIRIT in need of a tow

The crude oil carrier Australian Spirit is apparently in trouble off Halifax and is need of a tow.
She sailed from Staten Island NY on the 4th, bound for York. She reportedly lost stearing last night, Aprox 75km off Chubecto head.

 (Above) Position as of 1500 AST 10/12/14

I Know no further details at the moment, but was tipped off by a Canadian Press reporter covering the story. Anyone know anything? email me info@halifaxshippingnews.ca

UPDATE: the tug Atlantic Larch is reportedly on Scene, and the Venture Sea and CCGS Earl Grey appear to be on their way.

There is a Good argument for the CCGS to be equipped for emergency towage. As the Current multipurpose buoy tenders and light icebreakers reach the end of their useful lives, they should be replaced with a Off the Shelf ice classed Anchor handling Supply tug design. Such vessels are equipped for towing operations and feature large working decks for cargo transport. A suitable crane could be provisioned for buoy work. this would Add to the Coast Guards capability, and preserve the existing service levels.

UPDATE:11/12/14 1200AST: Tanker is under tow, and expected in Halifax for repairs later tonight. They currently apper to be making about 4 knots, and are 31 nautical miles off Chubecto head, suggesting a 2000ADT eta.

UPDATE 1430AST: Halifax Port Authority says the Australian Spirit will go straight through to the Bedford Basin, where she will anchor.

UPDATE 12/12/14 0935AST: Australian Spirit was due to take her pilot at 9am. She currently appears to be off chubecto head, likely waiting for the Outbound Heather Knutsen  to clear the channels allowing more room to maneuver. I suspect She will also take on Tugs Atlantic Fir and Willow, currently escorting the outbound Heather Knutsen.

Photos from DFO via Twitter.

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Fire on board ship Updated – HMCS St John’s at Halifax Shipyard

Thanks to HRM fire buffs for informing us that halifax crews from university ave were paged out to a ship fire just after noon.

The fire is reported extinguished, and smoke is being cleared. 
Given the location of the crews it’s likely the ship was at the ocean terminals suggesting the Pearl mist or one of the offshore supply vessels.
More to follow as known

Update I was provided with the following info:

at approximately 12noon today light smoke was identified aboard the frigate HMCS St. John’s which is in the yard for a scheduled mid-life refit. Approximately 35 people were working aboard the ship. As a precautionary measure the ship was evacuated. The fire department was called. Initial cause appears to be a pinched electrical line on deck 4 that caused a “hot spot”. Employees extinguished the smoldering area with a fire extinguisher prior to the arrival of the fire department. No person was injured and no damage sustained aboard the ship.

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TSB report released on Ghost Ship Lubov Orlova.

The TSB released its report into the loss of the tow of the Lubov Orlova. it makes for an interesting read – the planning for the journey was suspect, as was the tug, which was laid up for a period prior to use, and bareboat chartered by Orlova’s owner.

The tug ran into trouble repeatedly on the trip north to St Johns, and Failed a Port State inspection in Halifax. (Photo Above), finally was cleared to newfoundland, and then departed improperly equipped and in a dubious mechanical state.

you can Read the report in PDF or  See all our coverage of this Incident Here

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M/V Miner Removal Contract Awarded.

The Nova Scotia Government today announced that RJ MacIsaac Construction, an Antigonish-based company, was awarded the contract to remove the ship by November. The work is estimated to cost $11.9 million.

RJ MacIsaac Construction was one of seven companies that responded to the Request for Proposals (RFP) in March. The bidding process closed April 29.

The proposals were reviewed by a panel of experts to help ensure a fair and transparent process. The panel included representation from the provincial and federal governments, including health and safety officers, officials from the Department of Environment, the provincial procurement office, and Transport Canada.

A point system was used to evaluate the bids considering many factors, including price, method of removal, occupational health and safety considerations, environmental consideration, and worker accommodation. Prospective bidders were made aware of the process, the criteria, and the point system during a mandatory meeting held in advance of the RFP launch.

RJ MacIsaac has until November to remove the wreck. They will work with the province to develop a project schedule. The community will be kept up to date on the project’s timeline.

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Product Tanker Helit bay Aground in St Lawrence

The Marshal Islands Flagged tanker Helit Bay is reported aground Between Trois Rivers and Quebec City. She was bound for Montreal From Terneuzen Holland loaded with Urea. It is unclear if she is leaking.

Tugs have been Dispatched and will attempt to re-float her on the next high tide. Trois-Rivers lists a 20cm tidal range. The TSB will be investigating.


ShipSpotting.com© ft011291@PLANET

The Vessel was built in 2009 by Turkter Shipyard in Istanbul, Turke, and is Owned and Manged by Turkish firm Vbg Shipping & Trading. She is 163m long, and Drafts 9.2m.

Update:
She floated off with tug assistance and is reported to be undamaged, and continued on her way

Update – top image via TSB. Grounded vessel with Group Ocean Tug in Attendance.

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Nautical Disasters.

So I started out to make a list of the top 10 incidents I’ve covered. This didnt work out so well, since there seem to be so many, So Instead, I present 9 types of assorted Pearls at Sea

1. Damaged Cargo/Containers During Handling

A Container being unloaded failed, Causing a Radio Active Scare at Fairview Cove. The container in question, once removed, and still in the hold

 2. Hull Failure

The container ship MSC Montery discovered a Cracked hull. Fortunatly it was not structural, and was repaired easily. the same cannot be said for the  MOL Comfort, which developed a crack, Broke in two and sank.

3.Tow Issues

Ex Rusian Cruse Ship Lubov Orlova snaped a tow line, went a drift, and launched fears of ginormous cannibal rats landing in Europe. The Ship Likely Sunk.

The M/V Miner also broke a tow line, and ended up on the beach of Scatrie island. finally the tow of HMCS Athabskan ran into Troubles when a tug lost power and lines parted.

 4. Fires:

AlgoNova Suffered from an engine room Fire. She was towed to Halifax for repairs.

HMCS Protecteur also suffered and engine room  fire returning from Hawaii.

 5. Groundings

Blue Putties Parked on Shore in Port Aux Basques. She was repaired in Halifax. The Bulk Carrier John1 lost power and went Aground off Newfoundland. She went to Argentia NF for repairs. The Bulker Tundra also Went aground, in the St Lawrence off Sorel PQ. She eventually made halifax to load grain.

6. Weather

Renate Schulte’s anchor broke free and punctured her bow thruster compartment. She was temporarily repaired, and scrapped after this incident.

The Car Carrier Asian Emperor took a parametric roll, and trashed some heavy Equipment

And High Seas caused broken Containers on Zim Colombo

7. Human Error

The Bounty Sunk after the captain went sailing in a hurricane.
The first and Second posts were in near real time as facts were known. You can also read All Posts covering the disaster and investigation.

8. Piracy

The tall ship Silva was Set Adrift.

9. Sinkings

Unknown sailing vessel in the North West Arm  Sunk. The port authority salvaged her, but a few months under water made her fit for the dump.

The Sailboat Captain Morgan, also sunk one winter.
In both cases, I suspect a frozen Through Hull fitting failed allowing water ingress.

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HMCS Athabaskan Tow Report Released.

You Can find our Full Coverage of the HMCS Athabaskan Tow Here

The Canadian Press was able to get the May 2013 report into the tow issues with HMCS Athabaskan. I have not seen the report, so the info below is from the CP Piece. The report, obtained under access-to-information law, says the punctures require 18 square metres of steel to be replaced. Another 711 square metres of the ship needs fresh hull coating because the broken lines rubbed against the vessel, while rails, stanchions and a smashed sonar operator compartment window also have to be replaced, the report says.

the repairs would cost approximately $2 million.

The report says the Defence Department was invoiced about $546,000 by Atlantic Towing to complete the tow from Sydney, N.S., to Halifax, on top of the $707,000 the department has been billed for the initial leg of the journey by original Contract winner Group Ocean.

Investigators say the Ocean Delta,one of the two tugboats involved in the operation suddenly lost power in the Gulf of St. Lawrence between Sept-Iles, Que., and the Magdalen Islands on the morning of Dec. 26 when an air leak caused the clutch to disengage. The tug then spins around, striking the navy ship along one side while its fenders “burst as a result of the force exerted on them during the collision,” the report says.

On the 28ththe tow to Halifax resumed. Then, over a course of hours, four lines snap while the ship is about 10 kilometres off the rocky coast of Scatarie Island. The report says winds did not exceed 45 kilometres per hour and waves were between one to two metres at the time.

The first tow line snapped at 10 p.m. A search and rescue helicopter was deployed by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre to bring personnel onto the drifting ship to secure a new line, which was done early on the morning of Dec. 29.

That tow line snapped about five hours later, and then a mooring line was used to continue the tow. But that line also broke a few hours later, and another mooring line was attached.

On Dec. 30 at about 3:40 a.m., that line broke. A third mooring line was then attached to HMCS Athabaskan to return it to Sydney.

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DND Penelized after 2011 Fuel Spill from Preserver

DND was fined 1$ and mandated to donate $20,000 to the Coastal Research Network and $7,500 to the Environmental Damages Fund as punishment for a March 2011 Spill, while fueling at Imperial Oil. Aprox 14,000 litres of marine diesel fuel was discharged, but caused no damage to the shore or Wildlife.

A Technical investigation conducted by the military determined the spill was caused by a defective valve on the supply ship’s grey-water line, a waste discharge pipe that runs through the main fuel tank. Once the vessel’s fuel tank was loaded to the point that the valve on the waste discharge pipe was submerged, the diesel fuel flowed into that line through the valve and was discharged overboard.

The Preserver had just been returned to the navy from a work period at Halifax shipyard, where repairs were made to the valve assembly running through the tank.

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