Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Tugs that pass in the night - Updated (AGAIN)

Ships do it, and so do tugs. Tonight May 4-5 two tugs passed each other northeast of Halifax.

The Beverly M 1 initially arrived in Halifax April 30 towing the deck scow MM10 from Sydney.

Built in 1993 by Inamura Shipbuilding Co in Kure, it is a 2 screw CPP tug of 4,000 bhp. It was named Shek O. until 2004, then became: Hunter; 2006: Shek O.; 2008: Pacific Typhoon. When McKeil acquired the tug in 2013 it was working in Dubai with a sister tug which was also acquired by McKeil. Interestingly the tug still carries the inscription "Salvage + Towage" from its orginal owners, Swire Offshore of Hong Kong, however the letters MM (for McKeil Marine) have been added. It is also equipped with a large anchor handling and towing winch.


The Beverly M 1 sailed from Halifax May 3 en route for Sydney.

The second tug is the Fjord Saguenay, built in 2006 by East Isle Shipyard in Georgetown, PE as one of the improved ice class series of 5,000 bhp tugs. Built as Stevns Iceflower it worked in Europe, also under the name Svitzer Njord from 2007 to 2009. It returned to Canada on its own hull in February 2009, arriving in Halifax on one engine. It was given the name Fjord Saguenay and went to work in La Baie (Port Alfred) for Rio Tinto Alcanunder the management of Groupe Océan [see update]. This spring it moved to Quebec City where Océan's repair facility replaced an engine with a more efficient one [see Update]. Its place at La Baie has been taken by Ocean Raynald T (a sister tug built as Stevns Icequeen in 2009).

As an ASD tug, it works over the bow with a large winch on the foredeck. It also has a towing winch, and quick rlease tow hook aft.

The tug sailed from Quebec City April 29, sailed down the St.Lawrence and across the Gulf of St.Lawrence, through the Northumberland Strait, and Canso Canal, anchoring in Inhabitant's Bay May 2. Today May 4 it departed southbound, not giving a destination on AIS.

The two tugs likely passed within sight of each other off Nova Scotia's eastern shor.


Thanks to an alert reader, I have learned the tug is heading for Shelburne, NS for its class renewal survey.

New Update (June 20).

Thanks to information provided directly by RioTinto Alcan, I can correct misinformation published in the orginal post.

1. Rio Tinto Alcan independantly manages and operates the tugs in Port Alfred / La Baie.

2. The engine was removed, repaired and re-installed by Caterpillar-Toromont. The same block was used, and the engine is not a more efficient model. Groupe Océan did provide labour for the remove / re-install.

As always corrections are welcome.