Monthly Archives: June 2015

TSB Releases Report into John I Grounding

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (M14A0051) into the 14 March 2014 flooding, grounding, and subsequent evacuation of the bulk carrier John I off the southwest coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. There were no injuries to the 23 crew members.

We covered the grounding and tow in a couple of posts as events unfolded.
The John I entered ice-covered waters off the southwest coast of Newfoundland on its way to Montreal, Quebec, from Las Palmas, Spain. After the engine cooling water temperature began to rise, the crew opened the sea water strainer housing and found that the strainer was plugged. As the crew began removing ice and slush from the strainer, water began to overflow from the open strainer housing. When the crew attempted to close the leaking sea chest valve to stop the flow of water, its operating mechanism failed. Sea water began to enter the vessel in an uncontrolled manner, overflowing into the engine room. The master then ordered the vessel to be blacked out, causing it to drift. As the vessel drifted towards the shore, commercial towing assistance was requested, but delayed due to the weather.
Upon its arrival on scene, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Earl Grey offered to tow the John I away from the shore. Further delays were encountered while the John I’s master conferred with the vessel’s managing company, the CCG and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC). When the master finally accepted the tow, the first attempt to establish a tow line failed, and the vessel’s proximity to the shoals did not allow for completion of a second attempt. The John I then ran aground on the shoals. The crew members were evacuated by helicopter. The vessel’s hull sustained minor damage.
The investigation found that warmed sea water from the engine cooling system was being partially discharged overboard and partially returned to the main sea water pump suction, rather than being recirculated to the low sea chest to prevent ice buildup. The strainer became plugged with ice and slush. The sea chest valve was prevented from fully closing, likely due to ice buildup, and the valve operating mechanism failed due to overstress when the crew forcibly attempted to close it, which led to the flooding.
The JRCC did not have the authority to direct the master of the John I to accept the tow. Neither the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Environmental Response nor Transport Canada, both of which had the authority to direct the vessel to accept the tow, were actively involved at an earlier stage when it was clear that the time to take action was running out and the environmental risks posed by the vessel going aground were increasing. The delay in starting the towing operation was caused both by the master’s reluctance to accept the tow and by the way that authorities managed the situation. If all authorities responsible for dealing with an emergency are not involved in a timely and coordinated manner, there is a risk that response options will be limited and the situation will escalate

Atlantic Cartier set to retire

Shot of Atlantic Cartier taken from the current top floor of the Nova Center. The crane boom is from The Maple. Get your shots of the current ACL Ships now. Atlantic Star is Due to begin service this fall, as the new G4 vessels come into service.

Atlantic Star was Launched in China January 27. You can follow the progress of the new vessels at

If you haven’t seen it, I have a progress blog following the construction of the Nova Center. You Can find it at

Tied up in Eastern Passage.

Yesterday brought the Car Carrier Suzuka Express. Operated by Vroon of the Netherlands, she was built in 2010 in Japan. Shes rated at just over 3900 cars, on 10 decks.

Torm Ragnhild also arrived yesterday. She anchored for Gypsy moth inspection, then moved to Imperial Oil to offload.

Home Again – new Svitzer Tugs

The Tugs Svitzer Njal and Svitzer Nerthus Arrived in Halifax. If they look familiar, they were both built in 2009 at Irvings East Isle shipyard.

Svitzer Njal is the former Stevns Icequeen and Svitzer Nerthus is the former Stevns Iceflower. Stevns ordered the tugs, as replacements for tugs of the same name it had bought and then sold.  Stevns Icequeen became Fjord Saguenay in March 2009 and Stevns Icecap, became Svitzer Nanna, but finally joined her in 2011 as Fjord Eternite. These 2 tugs Work for Rio Tinto Alcan in La Baie PQ.

Svitzer Njal and Svitzer Nerthuswill get Canadian names and be registered in Canada. They will go to work at the port at Milne Inlet, which was constructed as part of the Baffinlands iron ore Project on Baffin Island. The project ships all its mined material between July and October.

New Shuttle Tankers for Newfoundland

Teekay Offshore announced on June 1st, that it has entered into new long-term contracts with a group of companies that includes Chevron Canada, Husky Energy, Mosbacher Operating Ltd., Murphy Oil, Nalcor Energy, Statoil and Suncor Energy to provide shuttle tanker services for their East Coast Canada oil production.

These 15-year contracts, plus extension options, will initially be serviced by one of Teekay Offshore’s existing shuttle tankers, the Navion Hispania, and two to three third party-owned shuttle tankers currently operating in East Coast Canada, which will be chartered-in to Teekay Offshore’s Canadian affiliate located in St. John’s, Newfoundland, prior to the delivery of up to four shuttle tanker newbuildings. The Existing Tankers are Matea, Heather Knutsen and Jasmine Knutsen. Kometik is the forth, and is rumored to be for sale.

 Teekay Offshore will enter into shipbuilding contracts to construct three Suezmax-size, DP2 shuttle tankers with a South Korean shipyard for a fully built-up cost of approximately $365 million, with an option to order one additional vessel should a fourth vessel be required. The three firm vessels are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017 through the first half of 2018.

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