Category Archives: oops

Containers Spilled in Arctic Waters

The Nuavik Eastern Arctic Shipping vessel Sivumut dumped 20 Containers and other cargo into Frobisher bay off Iqaluit Friday afternoon. The ship had transferred cargo to a barge when something occurred resulting in the Cargo ending up in the water. The New port facility in Iqualuit, which opened in July includes a ramp to receive cargo lightered by barge.

Warning s from police that containers and there contents are not free for the taking seem to have been prompted by clam diggers discovering a container of beer on the beach and helping them selves.

Other photos seen on Facebook seem to show the Sivumut performing dual container lifts – that is where a stack of two containers as lifted together, connected only by the locks on the corners. This is safe for empties, but a bad idea for loaded containers.

CN Main Line Washed out Mile 61.5

Friday and Saturdays 300mm+ of rain has caused a significant washout on the CN Main line at Mile 61.5 on the Bedford Subdivision. For reference, Truro Station is mile 64. The washout is located on McClures Brook, behind the Milbrook Band Council offices.

CN Reports the washout should be repaired by Wednesday.

The washout means trains are unable to enter or leave Halifax. I suspect 120 will still run as far as Moncton, with cars bound for Halifax moving the rest of the way once the line is open. I have been told that there are currently 3 trains staged between Moncton and Truro. CN508 (Moncton to Dartmouth general Freight) is stopped at the Truro Yard. two CN120 trains are stopped on sidings at Belmont (Springhill Sub mile 4.8) just before Truro, and Springhill. Once the line reopens, the plan is to Send train 121 currently in Rockingham yard out, then bring the Belmont 120 train in, turn around its power, and send another 121 out, while bringing the Springhill train in.

It seems unlikely that a few days closure will cause ship diversions – Cargo is likely already here, though dwell times at the terminals may increase.

Yesterdays inbound VIA Train was stopped in Moncton, and passengers were bused to Halifax. today’s departing Ocean, will see passengers bus to Moncton.

The 2 photos in this post have been circulating on Social Media, and I am unsure the Original Source.

UPDATE: I’m told that between Rockingham and HOT, there is 43000′ of train waiting to depart – thats about 3.5 trains.

RO-RO Vessel on Fire in Newark

Around 9:30pm Est, Wednesday evening, A vehicle caught fire during loading operations on board the CON-RO vessel GRANDE COSTA D’AVORIO at the port NY/NJ Newark terminal. The ships crew activated the shipboard firefighting equipment, and called the Newark Fire department who responded. The fire was first reported on Deck 10, and quickly spread upwards to Decks 11 and 12.

The Newark FD Attempted to make a quick hit on the fire, but its rapid spread caused the firefighters to Retreat. In the process two went missing, causing maydays to be declared. they were found, but both have passed.

A statement from the ships owner, Grimaldi Deep Sea indicated the ship has 1200 new and used vehicles on board, and 157 containers. The Ship sails on the North America West Africa Loop. They also indicated the fire was under control, however it was clearly still burning, and reports from Friday morning, indicate that the fire is still spreading fueld by the exploding fuel tanks of cars on board.

Used vehicles are a significant hazard. unlike new vehicles, they can be full of fuel, may have other unknown contents, and be in questionable mechanical state. Used Toyotas in particular are a common export to Africa, both to be resold for driving, and as parts vehicles.

Car fires on RO-RO Vessels are a Huge issue. Vehicle decks are large open spaces, often with low ceilings, and vehicles are parked very close to each other, making movement between them very difficult. The Enclosed nature of the ship contains heat and smoke, decreasing visibility. The close proximity also means the fire can quickly spread. Cars burn at 1500F, which can cause other vehicles close by to light. Heating of surrounding decks can also cause vehicles on other decks to catch fire solely from heat transfer.

Ships have onboard firefighting systems, which are designed to meet international maritime standards. Its unlikely a municipal fire department will have adapters or compatible equipment. In this case it appears the Newark FD was attempting to use shipboard equipment, which was unable to provide sufficient pressure.

Using unfamiliar equipment is a problem. you don’t know if it will work, you dont know its capabilities. A better strategy would have been to lay hoseline into the ship, up a stair well to the 10th deck, and attack the fire from there with familiar and known equipment.

In May 2003, a Fire on board the vehicle deck of the Newfoundland ferry Joseph and Clara Smallwood was contained by Shipboard sprinklers, and Successfully fought by the ships crew while under way and local Volunteer Department once the ship docked. It took several hours to fully extinguish the fire. In that case, only one vehicle was on fire, and it was quickly detected and reacted to.

Grimaldi Group is the Parent Company of ACL. Used vehicles (And all manner of RV’s) are transported on ACL vessels via Fairview Cove, including used cars, bound for Africa.

Updates to Follow.

UPDATE 07/07 23:37
Things are not going well, the fire has spread forward and down 2 decks, As well vehicles on the top deck are visibly on fire. The ship now has a 3 degree list towards the pier. this apparently becomes a bigger concern at 5-6 degrees. the ships bridge has also been compromised by fire.

Salvage company Smit Don Jon is now leading the firefighting effort, though the inside of the ship is too hot to access.

The New Jersey Fire Officers union also released a statement, where they indicated that port authority members attempted to fight the fire with 1″ hoses, which were having no effect, so the Newark department had to take over.

So the NJ fire officers union is throwing their members under the bus? if your the Officer with Newark who arrived, Why would your initial tactical action to takeover what’s already in place – Newark determined that the port authority didn’t have the capability, so they took over and did the exact same thing!? Forget the lack of training in shipboard fires, there seems to be a lack of training in incident size up, and choosing appropriate initial tactical actions.

Look I’m a volunteer fire officer, I’m not trained in shipboard firefighting but I have worked as a longshoreman. If I roll up to that ship, I’m deploying an improvised stand pipe, ideally up an enclosed stairwell, and launching an attack from there. We saw no evidence that Newark FD attempted to run any of their own lines to attack the fire when it was clear the ships systems were not sufficient.

I think we also need to have a conversation if the fire fighting systems on board commercial vessels are sufficient to fight the kinds of Fires we see on board them.

In June 2020 A fire occurred on the PCTC Höegh Xiamen in Jacksonville, Florida. The fire managed to burn through several decks. that ship was managed by Grimaldi Deep Sea. in July a fire gutted the warship USS Bonhomme Richard at the San Diego Naval base. – fire started in a vehicle deck.

in 2019, Grande America, a ship of a similar design to the GRANDE COSTA D’AVORIO sunk after suffering a container fire on deck. the PCTC Grande Europa also suffered a fire at sea, but it was brought under control.

UPDATE 07/08 1500
the ship disappeared from AIS at 0845est this morning, suggesting that the bridge has now been lost, or has lost power. Sal Mercogliano Tweeted the below image of the ships general arrangement, overlaid on the fire image, which helps explain the situation.

UPDATE 07/09:
as of Saturday afternoon, the fire is contained to the 11th deck, and its spread has been stopped. The List is being maintained to assist in dewatering operations. On Sunday deck 11 was being overhauld, meaning the majority of the fire was extinguished, and crews were working to make sure it was fully out.

Ale Towed in.

the Bulk Carrier Ale arrived from Baie Comeau tonight, under tow by Italian tug KAMARINA. The pair tied up at Pier 9.

Ale ran aground in Long Pond NL, on September 14th. the ship was refloated and took to anchor. On the 16th, TC Inspected the ship, finding deficiencies with fire safety equipment, and the engine room – the ship was not detained.

Ale was towed by Atlantic Fir and Atlantic Larch from Long Pond to Les Mechins (home to a large graving dock) arriving on Oct 10th. The Ship and tug Sailed from Les Mechins on Dec 12th, bound for Setubal Portual, and presumably the ship yard there.

Ale was built in 2012, and is flagged in Singapore. KAMARINA was built in 2010.

M.V Confederation is grounded

M.V Confederation appears to be around out side the channel in Caribou NS. NFL has cancelled today’s sailings, citing a Technical Issue. It looks like Confederation left the channel after departing on the 8:30 am sailing to PEI, so presumably there are passengers aboard.. has details from a passenger. the plan sounds like they will attempt to back off the sandbar at 5pm, the next high tide.

Photo from Oct 2022. Confederation Entering Caribou Ferry terminal. Its a tight channel.

UPDATE: the Confederation was floated off the sandbar on the high tide just before 5pm, and returned to Caribou. A Statement from NFL indicated the boat suffered a steering failure, that led to the grounding. the steering was able to be repaired while the ship was grounded.

Sailings on Monday were also cancelled, citing a technical issue

NFL Ferry Holiday Island Fire

Photo Greg Britton via FB Nova Scotia fire /Emergency/Info

The Northumberland ferry Holiday Island is on fire at Wood Island PEI. The ferry crosses between NS and PEI, and was bound for PEI when the fire broke out.

The Holiday Island is a double ended (double pilot house) passenger and vehicle ferry
built in 1971 at Port Weller Dry Dock, St. Catherines, Ontario for Canadian
National Railways. The vessel was designed to service the Cape Tormentine, NB to
Borden, PEI crossing prior to construction of the confederation bridge.

The 51 years old vessel is now owned by Transport Canada and operated by
Bay Ferries Ltd and services the Caribou, Nova Scotia to Wood Island, PEI crossing.
The vessel operates eight months of the year from May to December.

A replacement was included in the 2019 federal budget.

MarineTraffic seem to show the vessel was on the NS – PEI leg of the trip, and is stopped outside the harbour. Reports from facebook are that lifeboats are being deployed. given the ship is outside the harbour, it suggests the fire is in a machinery space, as opposed to a car – if it was a car, docking the ship and gaining access to shore based resources would be smart.

Given the ferries location, I’m going to guess they ran it aground. Given the drive arrangement, that means the hull is probably compromised.

Photos posted to facebook shows Marine Evacuation System deployed. This system was installed in 2020, and replaced open air lifeboats. once in the raft passengers were taken ashore by local fishing vessels. The MES is basically a airplane style evacuation slide with a large detachable raft at the end. the raft can then be moved away from the vessel with the ships FRC.

Photo Jonathan Jessome via FB Nova Scotia fire /Emergency/Info

Yesterday the Holiday Island suffered a technical issue that delayed sailings.

Temperatures today are 28, with 74% humidity. Humidex of 38. Fun day to fight a fire.

Update via the CBC: The FIRE IS OUT and there are no injuries according to Don Cormier at Northumberland Ferries.

This is now a salvage operation.

UPDATE 07/22 1332: JRCC Halifax has issued a series of tweets. “At 11:17 am, JRCC Halifax received a distress call indicating that the Northumberland Ferry “Holiday Island” suffered a fire in their engine room and subsequently ran aground. Search and Rescue aircraft from 14 Wing Greenwood, and Canadian Coast Guard Vessels are on scene and have safely disembarked 182 passengers. 18 Crew and 7 local firefighters remain on board to fight the fire. Local fire, police & paramedics are on scene. As all passengers have been taken ashore, local authorities and the ferry operators are responsible for any updates. SAR assets will remain in place to assist if required.”

A CCGS Fast Rescue Craft and an RCAF C130 were noted to be in the area.

UPDATE 07/22 1435: NFL Statement also confirmed on twitter that all people and pets are safe.

UPDATE 07/22 1605 : A Passenger has posted a gallery of photos

UPDATE 07/22 1945 : It looks like the Holiday island has ungrounded itself. There were likely tugs in assistance, just not visible on AIS. This is good, as it suggests my damage assessment from the grounding was overly pessimistic.

The other ferry on the run, Confederation has also made it to Wood Islands.

The Coast Guard has tweeted about this.

UPDATE 07/22 21:40: just saw a reddit post suggesting the boat was on fire again as of 19:00. zooming in it looks like a more smoke then running the engine and another comment suggesting the vessel was still on fire at 18:00, and a helicopter was sling loading equipment to the ship.

CBC reporter noted at 17:45 the NFL clarified that the fire was contained, but not out.

UPDATE 07/23 00:22: Tug Svitzer Bedford looks to have sailed from Point Tupper around 10pm.

UPDATE 07/23 0140: someone near the ship tells me that the ship is still grounded, and firefighters have been withdrawn due to safety concerns. Svitzer Bedford is almost on scene, and is equipped with fire monitors, so they may be transitioning to an external attack.

UPDATE 07/23 1300:

Photo posted at CBC from this AM.

the ferry was moved pulled by a tug to deeper water last night on the high tide to enable the confederation to operate. NFL has cancelled service for Sunday, and is not taking further reservations. In a statement, they confirmed that the ferry is still on fire, and that firefighters were removed from the ship at 9:30 last night. They also confirmed that an environmental response team is standing by. the release also included the line “It is uncertain at this time if we will be able to recover vehicles and return them to their owners. ” – which suggests they are planning for the loss of the vessel.

CCGS photo tweeted by TC.

UPDATE 07/23 1400: My Guess is the ship may have used a CO2 extinguishing system to flood the engine room and put out the fire. They work great, but you need to keep the space closed and full of CO2 untill things can cool down, or you can have a rekindle.

The txt below was sent to passengers this morning.

UPDATE 07/23 1715: Latest from NFL.

The fire is still burning. “The tug Svitzer Bedford, which has some firefighting capability, has been able to apply some boundary cooling to the sides of the ship and car decks. The environmental response organization, ECRC, has been able to deploy a boom around the ship as a precautionary measure.”

“the current plan under consideration would be to tow the ship into Wood Islands harbour during high tide with two tugs and to secure the ship in berth. Once secured in berth, firefighting crews would attempt to finally extinguish the fire.” This is a sound and reasonable plan. Putting out the fire will be much easier if the ship is at the dock, and crews have easy access with hoses and equipment. The Next high tide is at 8:01 tonight, followed by 7:01 tomorrow morning.

Holiday Island was carrying 83 vehicles on the two car decks of the ship. NFL noted a lack of rental cars and hotel rooms complicating passenger accommodation.

UPDATE 07/23 20:50:

The coast guard released some imagery of boundary cooling being applied – the Holiday Island also has a noticeable list. The ship was not moved to the pier on this evenings high tide.

CCGS M.Pearley, a fisheries sciance vessel, and CCGS Cap Spray, a 45’MLB are on scene

UPDATE 07/24 1000: the CCGS Molly Kool is now on scene. Statement from NFL. the fire looks to be out, and the ship was moved alongside on the high tide this morning.

UPDATE 1545: Vehicles are now rolling off the ship. some required tow assistance.

Additional images via the CCGS on twitter.

UPDATE 07/25 1440:
Ferry service remains suspended. NFL hopes to resume service with MV Confederation on Wednesday, the 27th. Confederation will do 4 round trips/day Departing Wood Islands: 07:00,  10:00,  13:30, 17:00 and Departing Caribou: 08:30, 11:45, 15:15, 18:30”

Hydra Mariner being removed.

The Coast guard is in the Process of removing the Hydra Mariner from Navy Island in the bedford basin. The CG announced last week that the vessel would be cut up in place, and disposed of.

The costs for the cleanup will be covered by the Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund, which will then go after the vessels owner to recover the cleanup costs. The Hydra Mariner is registered with the TC Registry of shipping as a pleasure craft.

The vessel grounded in January 2021, in high winds. It had been moored in the cove for some time.

MSC Kim Adrift in Gulf of St.Lawrence

CCGS Photo of MSC Kim adrift.

The Coast Guard is reporting that the container ship MSC Kim is adrift off Newfoundland, in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The Ship was bound for Montreal, and sailed from Halifax the night of the 5th.

Last reported position of MSC Kim via

According to Marinetraffic, the ship was making 20kn and then dropped to 1.5kn around 21:50utc on the 6th. The position again updated briefly on the 8th, with the reported speed less then 1kn. Its last reported position almost 48 hours ago was 48°25’24.7″N, 061°48’55.1″W, and the ship was reporting a navigation status of Not Under Command.

The CCGS Terry Fox is breaking ice in Stevenville NL, where the Atlantic Kingfisher is tied up, and will be responding to take the vessel in tow. MSC Kim was built in 2008, and is rated for 4254teu

UPDATES to Follow.

Update 02/09 22:34 with a more recent position. MSC Kim is drifting eastward towards Newfoundland in the wind. It is still 30nm West South West from the closest shore at Cape Saint George NL.

Atlantic Kingfisher is currently taking fuel from CCGS Terry Fox and is expected to Depart at 2300nl. Towing should begin in the morning. CCGS Jean Goodwill will also be responding.

UPDATE 02/09 2342: Atlantic Kingfisher is off the dock, and proceeding to MSC Kim with CCGS Terry Fox. MSC Kim is drifting east at 1.2kn

UPDATE 02/10 0700: Looks like Atlantic kingfisher has arrived at the MSC Kim. Overnight the MSC Kim drifted another 8nm east.

UPDATE 0809: now under tow. heading south.

UPDATE 1101: tow currently off Cape Anguille, NL and is bound for Sydney NS. Currently making 9kn, with CCGS Terry Fox following.

Position at 8:44pm Atlantic time

UPDATE 22:19: the tow is progressing towards Sydney, with an ETA of 1am.

Its also a good time to better understand the response. Its not known at this time when the MSC Kim called for assistance, but it certainly should have reported to MCTS that it was not under command. the CCGS Terry Fox was on icebreaking duty in the Straights of Belle Isle, specifically on the the Saint-Barb to Blanc Sablon Ferry route. On the 5th, terry fox departed for Corner Brook,and spent most of the 6th breaking ice in Corner Brook, before returning to the ferry run on the 7th. Terry Fox then Sailed for Stephenville the Evening of the 8th, arriving the afternoon of the 9th, which is where we picked up the story.

Jean Goodwill, Sailed from Sydney on the 4th to break ice in Charlottetown. The ship then returned to Sydney on the 6th, rounding the Tip of Cape Breton island 30 minutes after the ship appears to have lost propulsion. The ship returned to Sydney, and looks to have spent a portion of the day breaking ice in the approaches to Sydney.

Why does this time line matter – in 2014, the John 1 went aground after refusing a tow from the Coast Guard before the situation got worse. A last minute tow attempt by the Earl Grey failed, and the ship went aground. it was subsequently declared a constructive total loss and recycled.

The MSC Kim lost power in open water, and calm conditions. That doesn’t make the situation an emergency, however the potential for the situation to go bad exists. Even if a commercial tow is desired, there is no reason not to have a Coast Guard ship capable of taking a tow on scene in case situation changes, or conditions get worse. If you have time, you have options.

When a fire alarm is triggered, the fire department begins moving sufficient resources to deal with a fire closer to the site of the alarm in case they are needed. In many cases they get returned on route. but every now and then they are needed, and the improved proximity helps quickly bring the situation under control.

For all the talk of world class response, and the oceans protection plan, once again we have a case where the Coast Guard has failed to take positive control of a situation, to ensure it doesn’t go bad. Once again, we got lucky that a suitable commercial towing vessel was in a convenient place to respond, and the weather held. But if the Coast Guard wants to convince Canadians they have control, they need to step in and be in a position to respond.

UPDATE 02/11 0748: the tow is outside Sydney now. it looks like they might have chosen a path to avoid some ice, and probably were waiting for daylight to enter the Harbour.

UPDATE 02/19: MSC Kim sailed from Sydney this morning, bound for Montreal.

F/V Atlantic Destiny Catches fire and Sinks.

On March 2, The F/V Atlantic Destiny Caught fire, with 31 persons onboard. Facebook posts seemed to indicate that the engine blew up, which was the cause of the fire. The fire was extinguished by the crew, but the vessel was then found to be taking on water, and a Mayday issued at 20:10.

Mayday Relay from Halifax Coast Guard Radio via Colchester Fire and Emergency Calls FB Page.

The RCAF deployed a Hercules aircraft, which parachuted a SarTech to the stricken vessel, and a CH-149 Cormorant Helicopter, Both based at 14 Wing Greenwood.

The Halifax Joint Rescue Co-ordination centre notified watchstanders at the USCG 1st District Command centre of the incident at 20:05. USCG Sector North East deployed a HC-144 Ocean Sentry Aircraft and two MH-60 JayHawk Helicopters to the scene from the USCG Air Station Cape Cod.

Winds were reported to be 55Knots, and 30′ seas at the time. The CCGS Cape Roger also responded, as did Clearwater fishing vessels Maude Adams and Cape LeHave.

Helicopters began removing crew around 11:30pm. 21 were removed by the two USCG Jayhawks, and 6 were removed by the CH149 Cormorant, which reported suffered a winch malfunction. The ships crew were flown to Yarmouth.

The CH149 also delivered a second SARTech, who along with 4 remaining crew worked to dewater the vessel. as of 00:30 the ships generator was operating, and the pumps running. By 8am, the decision was made to cease de-watering efforts, and the remaining 4 crew and 2 sar Techs were transferred to the CCGS Cape Roger. The F/V Atlantic Destiny sank at 10:36am.

The F/V Atlantic Destiny was built in Denmark in 2002, and is a scallop factory freezer vessel, owned by Ocean Choice International of Newfoundland. It sails out of Riverport N.S, and is staffed by two 30 person crews who rotate 3 week stints.

There will be much speculation into what happened. The Vessel was the subject of a TSB investigation after a March 2017 incident that led to main engine failure. The report indicates that the ship had a history of engine shutdowns.

This post is an updated version of the live twitter thread i have been maintaining about the incident.

Ships Laid up with issues

Imedghassen has been laid up for several weeks at pier 36. The ship arrived in Halifax January 9th, on its maiden call for Melfi lines, and was reporting a deficiency, which i am told is engine troubles.

Its unclear why the ship is still here, however there have been reports of engine damaged caused by new low sulpher heavy fuel oils which seem to have quality issues.

The bulk carrier Giulia 1 remains tied up at Pier 9 after an encounter with a large wave that resulted in injuries too 2 crew members, and the death of a third. it put into Halifax afterwards. The ITF were working to repatriate the crew, and get replacements in place to take over the ship.

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