Saturday, May 8, 2010

Scotiadock II: glug, glug, glug.......

1. Today-on the bottom. (That is HMCS Iroquois visible in the background.)

2. April 30, 2010 - happier days.

3. June 9, 1998 arriving Halifax for the first time. Front left: Atlantic Cedar, front right: Atlantic Oak, stern: Atlantic Hemlock. Off to the left: Slipway II.

It's not unheard of, but it is most unusual, that a floating drydock ceases to float and sinks -to the bottom. This is what happened today to Irving Shipbuilding's Scotia Dock II floating drydock.
Moored in its usual position at Halifax Shipyard, the drydock went down to where its top rails are just below the surface. When the top picture was taken the north end of the top rail was just clear of the water, but it later was seen to be underwater.
Although the dock is boomed off, salvage operations have yet to begin in earnest. It will be interesting to see how this is accomplished.

Scotia Dock II (as it appears in the register, but commonly referred to as Scotiadock II) was built in 1958 by Canadian Vickers Ltd in Montreal and served that once important shipyard until it closed in 1986. It was named General Georges P. Vanier, for Major General Georges-Philéas Vanier (1888-1967) war hero (MC and DSO), diplomat and Governor General of Canada (1959-1967.)

The drydock was towed to Halifax in 1998 by Atlantic Cedar (i), Atlantic Oak (i) and Atlantic Hemlock, stopping over in Gaspé June 5 and arriving in Halifax June 9.
It was refitted and re-measured to its current 15,692 gross tons and renamed. (A previous drydock was called Scotiadock.)
Since then it has docked its share of ships, but has been idle for several months. It is understood from previous press accounts that its cranes were to be modernized as part of a major project at Halifax Shipyard. In fact its cranes had just been repainted. (April 30 photos shows one in the orginal blue and one in yellow)

Stay tuned for further developments.

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