Thursday, November 15, 2012

HMCS Athabaskan: Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat.......

HMCS Athabaskan in sub-zero conditions, January 14, 2000. The ship can work in winter, but not in ice.

The Department of Public Works has issued a tender call, through its national public tendering website, for tug services to tow HMCS Athabaskan from St.Catharines, ON to Halifax, during the nmonth of December.
Thanks to CBC News, we know that the ship's refit will not be completed by the end of the navigation season on the St.Lawrence Seaway (usually around December 25.) Therefore the government has decided that the ship must be returned to Halifax for completion and trials, which could not be conducted on the Great Lakes in winter time. The government will also pay the bill for the towing.
The refit was awarded to Seaway Marine and Industrial Inc (the former Port Weller Dry Dock) and the ship sailed from Halifax soon after the opening of navigation in spring 2012. See Shipfax from March 20:
It has always been a contentious issue that strategic resources (i.e. warships) could get hung up on the Lakes over the winter. Even the St.Lawrence River can become clogged with ice late in the year and warships particularly are not suited for navigation in such conditions. Several previous refits had to be completed in Halifax to avoid winter on the St.Lawrence. If memory serves me at least one of the Tribals completed its last major refit (the TRUMP program) in Dartmouth, with workers from Quebec coming to Halifax to do the work.


  1. Do you have the link to this statement from CBC News?

  2. There has not been an official word that Athabaskan will be towed. It is a plan B at this time, so not completely ruled out. Where is this reference to CBC? There is nothing about it to be found on the Internet anywhere.

  3. Apologies for seeming to quote a CBC News Report. I was speaking to CBC News, as I often do, to discuss newsworthy events, and I did not know if they would be airing a report or not. Apparently they did not.
    I should also make it known that I have not owned a television set in 25 years, so I have no idea what goes on the air.

  4. there is a tender out there if you google it...

  5. seems she was towed, saw her in northwest arm of Sydney Harbour on Dec 28, with 2 tugs,apparently waiting for winds to die down before continuing on to Halifax
    John A
    North Sydney