Contracted towing vessel, Atlantic Eagle, docked in the Prince Rupert harbour on Feb. 6 to collect provisions. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Disabled ship off Haida Gwaii towed to Vancouver

Newly contracted emergency offshore towing vessel, Atlantic Eagle, paid Prince Rupert a brief visit

One of the Coast Guard’s recently contracted emergency offshore towing vessel, Atlantic Eagle, docked in the Prince Rupert harbour on Feb. 6 to collect provisions.

The towing vessel’s visit came following a search and rescue incident on Jan. 24 when a deep sea bulk carrier, MV Alam Sayang, became disabled 190 nautical miles off the coast of Haida Gwaii.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, based out of Victoria, tasked the Atlantic Eagle to attend the scene.

“The Atlantic Eagle was released from the case once the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed that the crew aboard the vessel were not in distress, and that the case could be transferred into the care of the Coast Guard’s Environmental Response team. The Atlantic Eagle was repositioned to its home location at the southern end of Haida Gwaii,” said Michelle Imbeau, communications advisor for the Canadian Coast Guard, in an email.

Crews aboard the MV Alam Sayang attempted to repair the vessel themselves but were unsuccessful. They contracted a commercial tug to bring them in.

“As a precautionary measure, on Jan. 26 the emergency offshore tow vessel Atlantic Raven was tasked in an environmental response capacity until a contracted commercial tug arrived on scene and the tow was underway. No pollution was observed throughout the incident,” Imbeau said.

READ MORE: North Coast gets a $5 million radar system

The coast guard and Transport Canada kept in contact with the MV Alam Sayang through the Prince Rupert Marine Communication and Traffic Services centre. The bulk carrier was taken to Vancouver, where it arrived on Jan. 31. It was still moored in the Vancouver harbour as of Feb. 11.

Last summer, the federal government announced that through the Ocean Protections Plan, a three-year contract was awarded to Atlantic Towing Ltd. from New Brunswick worth $67-million. This would allow the Coast Guard to lease two large towing vessels to operated off the B.C. coast.

The Atlantic Eagle and the Atlantic Raven are both capable of towing large commercial ships in distress, including tankers and containers ships.

One of the vessels will patrol the northern coast and the other will cover the southern area.

READ MORE: $67M for two emergency towing vessels for B.C. coast


Shannon Lough | Editor
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