Sunday, August 8, 2010

Close Call at pier 9

The supplier Panuke Sea was refitting at pier 9 B this afternoon when something went wrong. According to spectators, a new engine had just been installed, and when it was fired up, the crew soon discovered that it was clutched in! The boat surged ahead on its lines, parting a stern line and wrenching the vessel away from the dock, ripping off its gangway as it went.
The boat was a good 100 feet off the dock when I got there, and they apparently had an engine on line and were bringing her back alongside.
It seems that the headlines may have held, or they were let go from the boat. All I could see were some heaving lines in the water. It is also possible that they dropped her starboard anchor, as it was not in its stowed position.
I recall seeing this happen before when a ship at pier 28 surged ahead and smacked its bulbous bow into the pier head. In the case of Panuke Sea however it could have been more serious as a work barge was positioned a bit farther north at pier 9B, and it would have been in the way if Panuke Sea had been out of control. Earlier in the day there had been men overside painting from a raft. Thank goodness they were back aboard when all this happened.

1. Quiet scene at pier 9 earlier this morning. To the left are Sable Sea and Ryan Leet just astern of Panuke Sea. To the right is a work scow. There are men painting the Panuke Sea from a raft just under her bow.

2. Panuke Sea well off the dock. Note the heaving lines in the water, starboard anchor showing and gangway hanging off.

3. A sectional scow, spudded down for work on the pier face was in a direct line north of Panuke Sea when she parted her lines at pier 9B.

Panuke Sea was built in 1984 by Komuny Paryskiej in Gydynia, Poland as Neftegaz 14 for the Russian oil giant Femco. In 2001 Secunda Marine bought the supplier and it arrived in Halifax October 15 under its own power with a Russian crew. Secunda had rebuilt two other sisters (Trinity Sea and Burin Sea) in 1999, and so they acquired this one and another sister, Neftegaz 29, for further service. Panuke Sea was registered in Canada October 22, 2001.

These boats were noted for the excellent steel in their hulls, but little else, and they were fairly cheap to acquire.

4. Neftegaz 14 as she appeared October 15, 2001, shortly arriving in Halifax.

Secunda's own forces went to work on it and gave it a upgrade, but no where near the rebuild that the previous sisters got. In May of 2002 it sailed to St. John's for drydocking and when it returned on July 11 it conducted trials. All did not go well apparently, as the ship did not meet the standards required for offshore work in Canada. Vision aft from the wheelhouse over the working deck was impeded, even thought they had cut down the funnels. So it was necessary to give it a second and more extensive refit.

5. Panuke Sea on trials July 17, 2002 after her first rebuild, note the cut down funnels.

That involved relocation of her funnels and a wheelhouse extension. That was completed in March 2003. Soon after, in May 2003, she had an engine failure. That engine was replaced by a block from the laid up Neftegaz 29, which has been used as a parts source, but remains laid up in Bedford Basin as Intrepid Sea.

6. Panuke Sea, showing her aft facing bridge and working deck, March 5, 2003, following her second rebuild.

Panuke Sea has been working out of Halifax since then. Secunda Marine was taken over by McDermott International and became J.Ray McDermott Canada Ltd in 2007.

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