Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mersey Pride - new work boat for Halfax

A new to Halifax workboat arrived today in tow from Liverpool, NS. Mersey Pride arrived in tow of Dominion Victory, which was dispatched yesterday to fetch the craft.

Built in 1987 to their own account by Georgetown Shipyard Inc, the boat was originally named G.S.I. No.1. Aluminum hulled, the single screw vessel has a 250 bhp engine and a fire pump.
In 1992 the Bowater Mersey Paper Co acquired the boat, renamed it Mersey Pride and put it to work at their paper mill in Brooklyn, NS across the harbor from Liverpool. It was used to assist ship docking and other chores around the mill and paper export wharf.

In 2012 Resolute Forest Products (the successors to Abitibi-Bowater) and the Washington Post newspaper, owners of the mill, closed the facility and the Province of Nova Scotia acquired the assets, including mill, deep water marine terminal and forest lands and began the process of dismantling the mill.

The workboat/tug, which was never busy at the best of times, was thus idled. I assume ownership of the boat also passed to the Province, although Transport Canada's website shows to change. If the province did acquire the boat, they have now apparently sold it - possibly to Dominion Diving.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Water Barge

The Halifax Port Authority provides potable water to ships at a variety of hydrants located on most of its piers. However, when a ship at anchor needs water, it is barged out on vessels such as Dominion Diving's Dominion Boann. Built by Marine Industries Ltd of Sorel, QC in 1956 as one of two 100 ft. self-propelled ammunition lighters for the RCN it was originally named YSF 219. At some point in its career it was converted to a potable water tanker and carried the name YSW 219.
When sold by the navy in the early 1990s it was named YW 219 for a time, then unofficially renamed Water Dog. By this time it no longer had an operational engine.
In 2009 Dominion Diving registered all its surplus naval barges, which had never been registered under government ownership, and gave them distinctive names.

Despite the need for a paint job on the hull, the boat is in very good condition and is usually handled by the small tug Roseway. Today's assignment was to load 100 tons of water for the tanker Maersk Katalin at anchor in Bedford Basin.

Dominion Diving also operates the sister barge Dominion Branwyn which is now a grey/blackwater barge, and was originally YSF 220 (and had several other interim names).


Monday, February 3, 2014

Firebird - cutback

CNAV Firebird, the HMC Dockyard fireboat, has been cut back from 24 hour a day manning to a Monday to Friday daytime operation. Belt tightening in navy operations is cited for the change. In addition to being on standby for emergencies, particularly fires, the boat is also used for security rounds and makes several trips daily from the main HMC Dockyard on the Halifax side of the harbour, to Jetty Lima (the Dockyard Annex gun wharf) on the Dartmouth side of the harbour and to the Defense Research barge anchored in Bedford Basin off Birch Cove. Nighttime and weekend security rounds will now be conducted by navy "pup" tugs of the Ville class or Dockyard small craft.
Firebird returning from a security round this morning.
Built in 1978 Firebird is to be retired when replacement tugs are built for the navy, since it is expected that those tugs will be fitted with firefighting gear similar to civilian tugs. Unlike civilian tugs however, Firebird carries trained firefighters from the HMC Dockyard fire department.

The last active fire the boat fought was on the ship Caruso, the former CCGS Tupper, at the old Dartmouth Marine Slip, October 11, 208.