Cruise Ship Scraping Begins

Holland America cruise lines has sold Halifax regulars Maasdam and Veendam. They will go to their new owners in August. Given they were sold as a pair, I expect they will be disposed of.

Holland America also reported that they have sold Amsterdam and Rotterdam to another company for delivery in the fall. All 4 ships entered service between 1996 and 2000.

Holland America line’s parent company Carnival Corp is widely expected to dispose of several vessels, like the remainder of the fleet that entered service in the 90’s.

2 ships collide in Welland Canal.

CHCH News in Hamilton interviewed me yesterday via Facetime about my thoughts on the collision between the Alanis and Florence Spirit in the Welland Canal which occurred July 11th. The Canal, and entire lakes shipping industry got lucky that neither ship sunk. You can see the interview here.

The collision was caught by at least two individuals who were out watching ships. the two video’s of the collision are included below. both of these videos were pretty promptly posted to Social Media.

in what was likely a steering failure, the general cargo ship Alanis loaded with wind turbine parts bound for Cleveland, and the bulker Florence Spirit, Port Colburn for Grand Anse PQ collided. It looks as though the Florence Spirit crossed the channel in front of the Alanis, in the video an alarm can be heard sounding prior to the collision.

The Welland Canal. the Collision occurred just above the current location of the Florence Spirit.

had the Florence Spirit sunk, across the canal, it could have taken weeks or months to clear the vessel. Photos of the Florence Spirit taken after the collision show it listing and down in the bow, suggesting that the hull was punctured by the Bulbous bow of the Alanis.

Despite Pilots being aboard the vessel, they can do little in the case of a machinery issue. a blockage in the canal would trap ships on both sides of the canal, and would have major trade impacts due to the quantities of bulk product that moves through the canal, including Grain and Iron Ore. Perhaps its time to consider compulsory tugs for vessels transiting the canal.

The Welland Canal is located in Ontario. The 43 km passage is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway system, connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie through the Niagara Peninsula. It enables ships to bypass the Niagara Falls.

Approximately 40million tonnes of cargo are carried through the Canal each year by some 3,000 vessels,of various types. These vessels are comprised of ocean-going vessels, along with Canadian and U.S. lakers.

US Navy amphibious assault ship on Fire in San Diego

LHD-1 USS Wasp arrives in Halifax in 2010.

At approximately 8:30 on July 12, a fire was discovered aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) while it was moored pier side at Naval Base San Diego. Approximately 160 Sailors were aboard at the time. USS Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability and normally has a crew size of approximately 1000.

the fire is believed to have started on one of the vehicle storage decks and spread to the well Deck. the ship is designed for amphibious assault, and features a flood-able space at the rear for launching landing craft and has 2 vehicle decks with direct access to the well deck.

throughout the day, the fire spread, into the the hanger deck, and by last night into the island, destroying the bridge area and causing the forward mast to collapse on deck. the ship developed a 3 degree list to starboard.

400 firefighters have been working on board, assisted by 5 tugboats fire monitors, and helicopters with Bambi Buckets.

As of this morning,6:30 a.m. Pacific time, firefighting teams continue operations on board, 57 personnel, 34 USNavy Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation.

US Navy Officials are optimistic the ship can be saved, however the extent of the fire may mean the ship is a total loss.

this post will be updated.

UPDATE 22:50AST: as of 3:30 p.m. Pacific time July 13, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard. 59 personnel, 36 U.S. Navy Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Currently, there are no personnel hospitalized.

Several commentators are further suggesting the heat stress on the ship from the still burning fires will result in the ship being declared a loss. replacement cost for the ship would be in excess of 1.5 billion dollars.

Update July 14 11:50AST: Still Burning. We have some images of damage, and it looks severe.

UPDATE July 16:
06:00 a.m. Pacific time July 15, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), 63 personnel, 40 Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Currently, there are no personnel hospitalized. Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE has conducted more than 1,500 helicopter water bucket drops, which is cooling the super structure and flight deck enabling fire crews to get onboard internally to fight the fire.

The fire is now thought to be mostly under control, with teams chasing hot spots. Apparently the superstructure was constructed from Aluminum, which is why the Island was able to burn through – the Heat melted the metal.

Horizon Arctic

Another Large offshore vessel, the Horizon Arctic arrived at pier 9. i have been told the vessel will be setting the anchors that will hold the Boa barge 34 when it arrives in Mulgrave.

the Horizon Arctic is the largest of three ships operated by Horizon Maritime. it was built by Vard in 2016, and operated as the Bourbon Arctic until Horizon acquired it in March of 2019.

the ship features a 308ton bollard pull, and her towing winches are rated to 500 tons.

Maersk Chicago – new Service for Halifax?

today brought the arrival of the Mearsk Chicago, a 6000TEU container ship, and the Second Maersk Lines call of the day. regular Caller Maersk Penang sailed, as the Maersk Chicago was arriving at the Pilot Station.

Maersk seems to have added Halifax as a call on its MECL1 Service. The service runs from the middle east, India, via Suez and Spain to Newark, Charleston, Savannah and Houston.

Official Schedules have not been updated, however Maersk Pittsburgh is also scheduled to call in Halifax,

Wilson Mistral with Anchors.

the general cargo ship Wilson Mistral arrived just after midnight, and tied up at pier 9. Loaded with anchors and Chains, these will be installed in Mulgrave by the Horizon Arctic (due in Halifax July 6) to hold the Boa Barge in place with the Deep Panuke Production platform aboard.

the ship arrived from Montrose, Scotland, and is very small.

the ship is due to move to pier 27, likely for fuel, at 10pm tonight.

Ex HMCS Cormorant to be removed and recycled.

The feds posted an rfp for the removal and scrapping of the former HMCS Cormorant, which has been languishing in Bridgewater. The ship sunk in 2015, when someone went aboard and open valves from the sea chest. The coast guard cleaned up that mess, and last year took further actions to deal with the risk of pollution left over from its work in 2015.

A consultants report included with the RFP indicates the cost of removal and scraping to be in the 2 million dollar range. The rfp closes August 13.

These photos were taken by me, Just prior to the Coast Guard taking action last November.

Boa Barge 34 and Deep Panuke Platform

the tug Boa Odin delivered the Boa Barge 34 to Pier 9. The Barge will be used too remove the production platform for the Deep Panuke offshore gas project. The Platform features jack up legs. Once the platform is positioned underneath the platform, the platform will lower itself onto the barge, and then withdraw its legs from the Seabed.

Nobel Regina Allen is Currently plugging the last well of the project.

Since the platform is still relativity new, a costing trade application was filed to allow the platform to be stored aboard the barge, at anchor in Mulgrave for 1 year.

Boa Barge 36 was used for the installation of the platform in 2011.

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