Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cape Beaver sinks in tow of Cape Ballard

Fragmentary reports have reached Ship Central that the trawler Cape Beaver sank recently en route to Europe for scrap. It was in tow of the trawler Cape Ballard when it started to take on water. Cape Ballard picked up the Cape Beaver's riding crew before it went down in stormy conditions.
Both former National Sea Products trawlers are owned by Icefresh of Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, (near Grimsby) England. Icefresh is part of the Icelandic company Samherji HF, and the crews of both vessels were from Iceland. The report indicates that Cape Ballard was due in Hafnafjördur, Iceland today to land the riding crew.
Apparently  Cape Ballard, with a crew of ten, was towing Cape Beaver to Belgium for scrap at the time of the sinking. The reports do not give the size of the riding crew.
The report also stated that the Canadian Coast Guard "assisted". This would indicate that the incident occurred in Canadian waters. Reports have the sinking on either April 5 or March 29.

Both boats were built as part of the last big fleet improvement at National Sea Products. Cape Ballard and Cape Brier were built in Halifax and Cape Beaver, Cape Fame and Cape Lance in Japan. The Japanese boats were built much more quickly.
1. Cape Beaver on the cradle at Dartmouth Marine Slip in 1987.

Cape Beaver, 984 gross tons, was built by Narasaki Zosen KK of Muroran, Japan in 1980 and was delivered in July of that year. On August first, while on a trials trip off Lunenburg it collided in dense fog with the wooden scallop dragger Maraget Jane, which sank almost immediately taking four of the crew down with her. A film crew from the NBC, who were aboard the Cape Beaver captured the incident, which can still be seen on YouTube.

2. Cape Ballard at Steel and Engine Products in Liverpool, NS in 1994.

Cape Ballard, of the same design, but measuring 991 gross tons,  was built by Halifax Shipyards and launched June 1, 1981. In later years it passed through several owners and last fished out of Marystown, NL. It also carried out seasonal research work.

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