Saturday, August 28, 2021

Horizon Arctic arrives

 The offshore support vessel Horizon Arctic arrived in Halifax today, August 28, from its expedition to explore the wreck of the Titanic. Chartered by OceanGate Expedition Inc the ship was base for the five person submersible Titan. The sub went 2500 ft down in what is to be the first of an annual series of visits to monitor the condition of the wreck, the debris filed and surrounding eco-system. 

As Horizon Arctic arrives today it passes USCG Escanaba tied up at HMC Dockyard after returning from Greenland.

Built as Bourbon Arctic in 2016 by Vard , hull in Tulcea, Romania, and completed in Brattvaag, Norway, the 8143 gt ship was acquired by Horizon Maritime in 2019. At 8143 gt, 4129 dwt, it is a very sizeable vessel. In fact, in addition to its ROV capabilities, and 307 tonnes bollard pull, it has accommodation for up to 60 persons for offshore crew transfers and construction work. As a modern offshore vessel it has diesel/electric propulsion and advanced hull design.

With no activity in exploration or development of resources off Nova Scotia Horizon Maritime is finding other innovative uses for its fleet. They recently won a $370,875.00 contract with the Royal Canadian Navy to participate in Operation Cutlass Fury 2021.  That is a nine day exercise with NATO Allies the US, UK and France, 50 to 100 miles southeast of Halifax, during which the ship will be the subject of surveillance, boarding and searching. The ship will also be carrying five RCN personnel in addition to the usual crew.

The exercise will commence September 6 with a low altitude flyover of Halifax harbour by CH-148 cyclones, CP-140 Auroras and Alpha* jets. The flyover, at 500 feet, will occur at 1300 hrs ADT. We can expect to see some of the cooperating vessels in Halifax before and possibly after the exercise ends on September 17.

*The Alpha jets are privately owned by Top Aces (a Montreal based "adversary air provider") and are former Belgian military aircraft retired in 2018, and provide combat training.

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