The bulk carrier Ale shifted berths today (January 28) from Pier 9C to Pier 9B. Because the ship is not self-propelled, due to rudder, propellor and hull damage, it took three tugs to perform the "cold move". Atlantic Oak made up astern, Atlantic Willow at the bow and Atlantic Bear took up a position along the starboard side.
The ship's problems began September 14 when it grounded at Long Pond, NL while backing to its berth. The tugs Atlantic Fir
from Halifax and Atlantic Larch
from Saint John were dispatched to Long Pond and towed the ship to Méchins, QC where it was drydocked for damage survey and temporary repairs. The Italian tug Kamarina
was then sent from Rotterdam to tow the ship to Setubal, Portugal for permanent repairs. On leaving drydock December 17 there was more trouble as the ship bumped local tugs and a tanker, and so was towed over to the shelter of Baie-Comeau where the tow was set up. Somewhere in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, while in tow of the Kamarina
one of the two legs of the towing bridle (made up of the ship's anchor chain) parted, causing some further damage, and so tug and ship made for Halifax, arriving January 3.
Since then there seems to have been some activity on deck up forward on the ship where the towing rig was set up, but the ship has remained alongside at Pier 9C except for a brief time at anchor January 18 when it was moved off to anchor in Bedford Basin to free the berth for another ship.
In Bedford Basin January 18.
The tug Kamarina has also been idled in the port, much of the time at anchor in Bedford Basin.
There were some interesting observations from today's move.
The emergency tow line (or insurance line), leading from the bow is rigged along the port rail. It is secured with light rope, called "yarn" which would break away if the line needed to be retrieved. At sea the end of the line is trailed astern with a float, which can be retrieved by the towing tug in case the main towing line parts completely. Tugging on the line would snap the yarn, freeing the emergency tow line.
It appears that the ship's damaged rudder was removed while in drydock as it is not visible. Some light steel framing appears below the ice knife, which may have been fitted to secure the rudder or prop in place, although the prop is not visible either, so many have been removed too.
It's not uncommon to see bulkheads and frame locations marked out on a ship's hull, along with draft marks and other information, but I don't recall seeing a ship so thoroughly labelled. Reminds me of the tatooed man in the circus.
The small amount of water being discharged near the waterline is likely cooling water from the ship's generators as the main engine is not running. It is likely that the rudder, prop and hull damage may also include distortion of frames and propellor shaft misalignment. All of which would require extensive repair work.
The 13,579 gt, 17,074 dwt ship was built in 2012 by Taizhou Shanfu Ship Engineering Co in Taizhou, China and is certainly worth repairing. Originally named Raba it sailed for Polish Ocean "Polsteam" until acquired by its current owners and renamed in 2021. Its three cranes have a Safe Working Load of 30 tonnes (24 tonnes with grabs.)
The port of Long Pond, in Conception Bay, NL exports Pyrophyllite or aluminium silicate hydroxide, a chalky talc like substance with many industrial uses. The main deposit in nearby Manuel's, NL, owned by Trinity Resources contains 21 million tons of the stuff, and there is more nearby. It is exported to North America and Europe.