Thursday, February 14, 2019

Miscellaneouis Updates

There are updates on a number of previous posts, so I have lumped then all together in one post.

Yantian Express

The ship was finally allowed to enter the port of Freeport, Bahamas and to tie up at the container terminal. It was held off the port from January 30 to February 3 until authorities were sure that there was no risk of a flare up, and that there was a plan in place for cargo clearance.
By February 13 investigators had determined that 198 containers were to be considered a total loss and will be removed and contents sent for destruction. Another 460 containers are likely to have damage of one sort or another, and will require inspection by insurance adjusters.
No date had yet been established for removal of the containers, and proposals are still being received for disposal.

 The tug Sovereign was still standing by the ship. This may be a necessary form of reassurance to port authorities that any flare up can be contained quickly. It may also just be a means of the salvors maintaining their claim on the ship.

The Canadian tug Maersk Mobiliser was released about January 31 and returned to St.John's NL. It was delayed by bad weather, but arrived in its home port February 12.

Captain Jim 

After the tragic sinking, with loss of a life January 29, the boat was quietly raised from its position in about 12 meters of water off Devil's Island. Apparently the Transportation Safety Board needed the boat to be raised to determine the cause of the sinking.
The boat appears to be reasonably intact, but it is unlikely to be rebuilt, since most of components would be ruined by immersion in salt water. I am not publishing a photo of the boat in its current condition.

CCGS Hudson and other Coast Guard issues

A $10mn contract has been awarded to Newfoundland Dockyard for the latest life extension refit of the hydrographic ship. Davie Shipbuilding declined to bid on the work. Citing the vessel's age and condition, it was their opinion that another refit is a waste of money.
My opinion is that the ship is on life support, rather than life extension, and the $10mn is a desperation move the keep the ship working for at least five more years. Since Seaspan hasn't begun to build a  replacement, even that figure may be optimistic.

The current CCG maintenance schedule shows the Hudson to be out of service from December 2018 to the end of March 2019. Since the ship will not arrive in St.John's until February 25 at the earliest, it is clearly impossible to spend that much money in a month - maybe in six months or a year?
In any event the ship will be out of service again, during the peak research season, and DFO will have to hire in other ships again this year to do some of Hudson's work. Ching Ching.

Newfoundland Dockyard currently has CCG Teleost and CCGS Terry Fox in drydock. Teleoest (fisheries research) is also due for replacement. Its refit is to be completed by the end of March.
Terry Fox (icebreaker) has gone well beyond its December 1 refit completion date, and should have been at work in the Gulf by now. However it got a bit of a reprieve since the newest CCG icebreaker Captain Molly Kool has gone into service in the Gulf after a quickie refit/conversion by Davie. It is the first of the three Swedish icebreaking supply vessels acquired last summer through Davie.

Newfoundland Dockyard also refitted CCGS Ann Harvey in a combined life extension repair after the ship ripped a hole in its bottom in 2015. (That work was supposed to be finished in September. Although the ship has left the NDY, the ship; is not in service yet.)

As per the last post, the inshore patrol vessels have issues with their seakeeping ability. The Coast Guard brass claims it is an issue of comfort not stability - a fine point, but likely correct in terms of  rolling, but does not address the Zodiac launching issue. 

Although there are four of these vessels in Halifax now, it appears that only one is in service. Corporal Teather C.V. is operational in place of Corporal McLaren M.M.V. which on the slip at CME in Sambro. It was recovered after being set loose by vandals, and is now undergoing repairs for that incident in addition to the two month planned refit it was there for originally.  The Teather is actually from the Central Region and would normally be laid up for the winter. It is to go back into refit In March.
 The other locally based boat, G.Peddle is supposed to be in a January/February refit, which may be occurring alongside at BIO. The fourth boat, A.Leblanc is also from the Central Region, and is to be in refit from January to the end of March, which may also be underway at BIO.

CCGS Sir Willima Alexander was supposed to enter Vessel Life Extension (VLE) in November, but it is at BIO and appears to be operational after icebreaking in the Gulf.
Edward Cornwallis was to be drydocked in January and February but it is operating in the Strait of Canso.
Alfred Needler (fisheries research) has completed an alongside refit at BIO and did sea trials last weekend.

Exceptionally heavy ice on the St.Lawrence River and Gulf is keeping the heavier icebreakers fully occupied. There have been shipping delays due to ice (and high winds and generally bad weather)  but all the CCG ships appear to be working withou mechanical issues.

APL Vancouver

A fire on this ship February 4 received a quick response from Vietnamese authorities, and was extinguished. After survey and declaration of general average it was cleared to carry on to Singapore with tug escort on February 12. It is due there February 15. Damage to cargo is expected to be significant.
I only mention this incident because the ship once called in Halifax. It was not en route to or from Halifax at the time of the fire.

Kivalliq W

The fire in the generator compartment on board the tanker while unloading at Imperial Oil on January 27, may have been more serous than originally thought. After naval fire fighters put out the fire in quick order, the ship moved to pier 9B for assessment and at least temporary repairs. After some delays due to berth availability, it returned to Imperial Oil briefly on February 5. When it sailed later that day it was to go the Lévis, QC to load again for Halifax. However that destination was changed to Las Palmas , Canary Islands. It arrived there February 14. That would certainly be a dramatic change of course (and weather) however it is expected that more repairs will be done to the ship there.
No substitute ship has appeared yet on the Lévis / Halifax shuttle, leaving Algonorth to make the run.

St.Lawrence Ferries

Although a temporary solution has been found to the Matane /Gobout/ Baie Comeau service there is still some doubt as to the future. The Société des Traversiers du Québec suddenly acquired the ferry Apollo from the Woodward Group. It had been due to retire from the Blanc Sablon / Ste. Barbe service and was apparently available on good terms. However STQ ran into criticism for buying it sight unseen!

It arrived in Matane for STQ upgrades and  modification to allow it to use the docks on the service. Meanwhile the CTMA Vacancier did complete its runs as per plan, and its fleet mate - really just a truck ferry now - CTMA Voyageur has been filling in  for the last few weeks, but Apollo has now entered service.
Problems with the F.-A.-Gauthier may be more serious than originally anticipated, and it is now out of service indefinitely.

To add to the problems, the Matane dock has also been plugged by ice. Someone - STQ or maybe CCG hired Groupe Océan's 8000 bhp icebreaking tug Océan Tundra to clear the ice in the enclosed port basin to allow the Voyageur and CN's train ferry Georges A. Lebel to maintain schedule. However it has now returned to Quebec City.

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