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Author Topic: ATHABASKAN being towed to Halifax  (Read 15420 times)
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Marcel Giroux
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« on: December 29, 2012, 03:15:37 am »

Anyone Knows the position of the tow that was due to Halifax these days.
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Peter Ziobrowski
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 03:32:20 am »

Sydney NS waiting on weather
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Peter Ziobrowski
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 03:37:41 am »

Shipfax is reporting that the tow line parted today setting HMCS Athabaskan adrift of Scatrie Island, where the M/V Miner is grounded on shore.Athabaskan was towed into Sydney by the coast guard, and is reported to be safe. More details as they become known.

http://blog.halifaxshippingnews.ca/2012/12/athabaskan-tow-troubles.html
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Marcel Giroux
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 07:27:01 pm »

Tanks Peter for the information. It is particularily usefull since there is no public AIS coverage in this area.
A photo of the tow was published some time ago:
http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1708531
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Steve Geronazzo
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 07:57:41 pm »

Hi guys,

I didn't know that they had problems with the tow when I took the pictures in Quebec City. I was following its journey on AIS and noticed that it wasn't going more than 5-6 knots.

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1708782

Steve
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Phil De Fayre
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 09:56:03 pm »

..

HMCS Athabaskan breaks free of towline

HMCS Athabaskan is towed into Sydney harbour to wait out bad weather.

 
The Canadian navy ship HMCS Athabaskan broke loose from its towline Friday night and went adrift off Scatarie Island in Cape Breton, CBC News has learned.
 
Capt. Doug Keirstead, a spokesman for Maritime Forces Atlantic, said there was no one on the ship at the time, but there were people on the tug.
 
He said the line was reconnected with the help of a Cormorant helicopter from the airbase in Greenwood, N.S.
 
"One of the crew members who was on the tug was lowered down to Athabaskan to reconnect the line, as was a member of the tug's crew," Keirstead told CBC News on Sunday.
 
Athabaskan was in St. Catharines, Ont., for a refit. It was on its way to Halifax for the winter when it went adrift.
 
Once the line was reconnected, the ship was towed to Sydney to wait out the current winter storm. It's not known when it will resume the journey to Halifax.
 
HMCS Athabaskan went adrift off the same island where the bulk carrier MV Miner went aground in September 2010.
 
MV Miner was on its way to Europe when the towline snapped. The rusting ship is still beached off Scatarie Island despite several attempts to refloat it.
 
The Cape Breton community of Main a Dieu is hosting a summit next month to look for ways to get MV Miner scrapped and removed.
..
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Marcel Giroux
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 04:36:46 pm »

Congrat to the crew members of the tug.
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Kyle Larabee
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 08:33:21 pm »

"Now I hear that the contract with Groupe Océan has been terminated, and that another company will be given the task of completing the tow to Halifax." More on this here --> http://shipfax.blogspot.ca/2012/12/hmcs-athabaskan-more-detail-comes-out.html

Kyle
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Paul Bradshaw
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 10:49:39 pm »

Do Groupe Océan normally do these type of tows? I know a lot of people don't fully understand how big the Great Lakes are.
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Jean Hemond
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 11:34:12 pm »

Not knowing much about towing and my very limited knowledge dates from quite far back!
 My questioning sources stands from observing a few local towing operations going through ice-floes in the St-Lawrence area. And as it it appears those are quite delicate operations. Mainly due to short towlines being required for the chaffing from ice and  abrasion between dry hulls and cold or very cold  towlines not much spring is then allowed. There are also procedures to tow military ships. But in the end choosing the adequate towline arrangement and setting the  optimum  speed is I believe is a rather  delicate art. Maybe however there are empirical sets of tables that were developed over the years for towing through ice fields. There were in my early years towboats conferences and that topic might have been discussed openly. Also it was noted on a CBC forum that the tug's winch could used to pay out cable when waves motions requires. Even then unexpected waves  add to the potential snapping of the towline in rough weather.   But obviously this knowledge and experience would be quite an important asset for towing operators it might not have been very widely shared. See the Canadian Coast Guard recommendations.
http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/e0010973  
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 02:27:12 am by Jean Hemond » Report to moderator   Logged
Phil De Fayre
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 04:18:00 pm »

HMCS Athabaskan hull damaged in tow line break
 
Holes, dents, scrapes can be seen on Iroquois-class destroyer
The hull of the Royal Canadian Navy ship HMCS Athabaskan was damaged when it broke loose from its tow line last week and went adrift off Scatarie Island in Cape Breton, CBC News has learned.
 
The Iroquois-class destroyer, which is currently docked in North Sydney, has at least seven holes in its hull along with several dents and scrapes. It also appears the ship's frame may be warped along the waterline.
 
The Royal Canadian Navy declined to comment to CBC News about the extent of the damage.
 
HMCS Athabaskan was in St. Catharines, Ont., for a refit and was on its way to Halifax for the winter when it went adrift on Friday night.
 
The tow line to the 130-metre vessel was reconnected with the help of a Cormorant helicopter from the airbase in Greenwood, N.S.
 
There was no one on the ship at the time of the incident.
 
HMCS Athabaskan went adrift off the same island where the bulk carrier MV Miner went aground in September 2011.
 
The MV Miner was on its way to Europe when the tow line snapped. The rusting ship is still beached off Scatarie Island despite several attempts to refloat it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/01/02/ns-hmcs-athabaskan-damage.html?cmp=rss
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 12:47:33 am by Phil De Fayre » Report to moderator   Logged
T.Richard
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 10:47:26 pm »

It will be interesting to see how "Groupe Ocean" will get out of this one ?
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Kyle Larabee
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 11:45:36 pm »

Atlantic Towing tugs Elm and Fir are now in Sydney. Most likely to take over the tow.

Kyle
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Phil De Fayre
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 12:42:49 am »

HMCS Athabaskan - docked in North Sydney "indefinitely"






 1. Safe in North Sydney [photo used with permission].
 
 CCGS Sir William Alexander** (left) did not have a line aboard the ship at one any time. The tug Ocean Delta (at the end of the dock) did eventually recover the tow, after calling in air support, and they did reach Sydney Harbour.
 
Strangely muted comments by some official sources are underplaying the seriousness of HMCS Athabaskan's abruptly abbreviated trip from St.Catharines toward Halifax. They say it was never in danger of running aground on Scatarie Island. I would say that if your only alternative was to call in air support from Greenwood air base, then there was good reason to fear that the ship would run aground or sink before you reconnected the tow.
 Now that it is safely berthed in Halifax {North Sydney!} the spokespersons are saying that they are waiting for good weather to complete the journey. If the ship were a merchant ship, the Department of Transport's Ship Safety inspectors would hold the ship in port until repairs were made.
 However this is complicated, because repairs to navy ships are very different to what would be possible in a remote port with a merchant ship.Temporary repairs would permit a merchant ship to be cleared to sail to a port where permanent repairs could be made. Even though the ship is tied up at the Canadian Coast Guard Academy's College's dock in Point Edward I doubt civilian regulators will be anywhere near this one except on an advisory basis.The navy will be the ultimate decision makers on when and under what circumstances the tow resumes. (The dock is in North Sydney, not at the Coast Guard College)
 Since the construction of naval ships is far different from merchant ships, even the type of temporary patching that could be done in Sydney might not be acceptable. However the navy can be creative and they may find a way to make the ship seaworthy. Normal damage control measures (applied in combat situations) could get the ship to a safe port, but with no navy crew on board and no ship's power, would these be possible? Stuffing a few mattresses in the holes and shoring then up with timber might have worked for Hornblower, but I'm not sure it will fly here.
No matter how they solve that problem, there is going to be a big repair bill ahead.
 


2. Hull perforations, indentations, scrapes and bruises. [photo used with permission]
 


I can see up to eight possible perforations, which could be open to the sea (granted the ones I can see are above the waterline). These would certainly result in additional damage if not patched before sailing. More serious in the long term is a long scrape that has clearly distorted some plates, and likely damaged frames. Then there are all the dents, bumps and scrapes that may have caused additional damage.
 Officials say they are keeping a close eye on weather before the ship moves, but my guess is that it may take more than good weather before this ship reaches Halifax.   
Interesting that the tug Ocean Delta is still alongside.Perhaps Groupe Océan has not been fired after all. I hope not - it would seem only fair to allow them to complete job. And what other tug operator would want to take over a previously damaged tow? Most towing contracts are quite firm in taking no responsibility for the towed object short of gross negligence verging on sabotage, so Océan may well be in the clear.
 Tugs will have to recover their towing line, several hundred feet of which is still attached to the ship, and will sail for Quebec as soon as January 3.
** conflicting reports here - some say the Coast Guard did and some say it did not have a line aboard. I have nosworn testimonials on this, but would prefer to believe that they did NOT.
 The ship shown in the picture is CCGS Sir William Alexander, however other photos (which I have not published) show that it was CCGS Edwrad Cornwallis that was the ships one the scene after the tow line parted.
 
http://shipfax.blogspot.ca/2012/12/hmcs-athabaskan-docked-in-sydney.html?showComment=1357054338726
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Phil De Fayre
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 04:58:34 pm »

Thursday, January 3, 2013


 

HMCS Athabaskan - yes there's more



Three new updates:
 
1. The RCN held a press conference today in which they stated that an engineering team had been dispatched to North Sydney to assess the condition of the ship before it is towed on to Halifax.
 They also said that weather would determine when the tow might take place.
 
2. But just to add to the litany of issues surrounding this incident word has reached me that the tow entered, departed and re-entered Sydney harbour without benefit of pilotage. This would certainly contravene the Pilotage Regulations, since Sydney harbour is a mandatory pilotage port.
   There was an incident in Halifax a couple of years ago when a visiting French warship was advised by someone in the RCN that it did not require a civilian pilot because "we never use them". Canadian warships, under command of specially trained officers, are not required to employ a civilian pilot  in Halifax and with certain specific qualifications (but foreign naval ships are required to.)
 Canadian ships over 1,500 gross tons (except ferries on their normal routes, and some other minor exceptions) are required to have a pilot in compulsory pilotage areas. Canadian government ships are not required to have a pilot. I assume however that they mean that the ship is under command.
   Exceptions to the pilotage Regulations can be made if the ship is in distress, if it is seeking refuge or if no pilot is available. However as I understand it the Atlantic Pilotage Authority must issue a waiver first.
 
An unmanned Canadian warship under tow would require a pilot in Sydney, if my reading of the regulations is correct, since it is over 1,500 tons.

3. The tugs Atlantic Fir and Atlantic Elm have arrived in Sydney, but apparently on spec. since the Department of Public Works and Government Services may have to re-tender the towing job. The Groupe Océan tugs Océan Delta and André H. have sailed and are on their way home.

http://shipfax.blogspot.ca/2013/01/hmcs-athabaskan-yes-theres-more.html
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