The former HMC Dockyard fireboat Firebird has found a new home on the west coast of Newfoundland. I recently received some pictures showing it doing pilot transfer and ship assist work in Lower Cove for the US flag self-unloading bulk carrier Donald M. James as it took on a load of limestone for Jacksonville, FL.
Built in 1978, the Firebird was declared surplus in 2014 a few years ago and acquired by Sealand Shipping Services of Baie Verte, NL. The vessel remained in Halifax until July when it sailed for Stephenville, NL. That area of the west coast had been without a regular tug since September 23, 2019 when Omni St-Laurent sank at its dock in Stephenville. Sealand's R.J.Ballott has also been reported in Stephenville and it may have been providing some tug service.
Firebird was most recently alongside The COVE (former CG base) in Dartmouth until July 23 when it sailed for Stephenville.
Firebird still has all its fire fighting pumps and gear, but is now classed as a tug with two 455 bhp main engines driving two Z-drives.
For more on the Firebird's naval history see: firebird farewell