Spill response vessels unloaded in Nanaimo

Spill response vessels designed for heavy weather won’t enter into service yet due to funding delays

Three coastal spill response boats unloaded in Nanaimo are becalmed by funding delays.

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation received a shipment of three spill response boats Wednesday, but delays in starting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will keep the boats from entering service.

The three nearly identical 300-tonne craft, christened Strait Sentinel, Coastal Sentinel and Gulf Sentinel, were built and sea-trialled in Singapore by ASL Shipyards and were hoisted from the deck and hold of the MV Happy Dynamic cargo ship at the Port of Nanaimo’s Assembly Wharf this week.

WCMRC refers to the craft as coastal response vessels, a new class of spill response vessel for the company, designed to work in heavier seas by Vancouver-based naval architecture and marine engineering company, Robert Allan Ltd.

“These are coastal response vessels and they are purpose-built boats for the West Coast,” said Michael Lowry, WCMSRC spokesman. “We wanted a boat that could handle the rougher weather out there … These aren’t fast boats. They’ll go about 10 knots, but they’ll get there in any kind of weather.”

But the boats won’t enter into service at their bases in Nanaimo, Beecher Bay near Sooke and Ucluelet, but will be laid up in Nanaimo.

Lowry said construction of the craft was started to coincide with construction of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which was halted in 2018.

“To meet the initial deadline, at the least the initial deadline, we had to begin the builds and those builds continued even after the announcement came out,” Lowry said. “Actually the boats had already been completed when the announcement came out, so we’ve received delivery, but unfortunately we can‘t bring them into service at the moment because there’s no funding. The funding for those vessels was going to come from the Trans Mountain project … so we’re not bringing them into the fleet. There’s no funds to hire a crew for them to operate them.”

RELATED: B.C. cities push for spill response base despite Trans Mountain decision

RELATED: Company planning to build oil spill response base announces 25-year lease with Port of Nanaimo

Instead, WCMSRC will put them into a “warm layup” state in which the craft will be stored in Nanaimo and their engines and other systems run occasionally to keep them operational. They will also have to be provisioned and outfitted with the equipment needed to perform their tasks.

“There’ll be a lot of work on them in the next little while,” Lowry said. “They need to be recommissioned to be brought back up to an operating state after the voyage. They need to be outfitted with equipment … so there will be activity on those boats for sure.”



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation says three spill response boats will be delayed from entering service because there is no money available to crew and provision them due to delays surrounding the Trans Mountain pipeline project. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s high school gets a rainbow crosswalk for Pride Day

Students and staff at Alberni District Secondary School celebrated the official opening… Continue reading

Port Alberni man dies in ATV accident

A Port Alberni man has died following an all-terrain vehicle accident near… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni imposing water restrictions

Stage 1 restrictions go into effect June 17

Port Alberni’s Five Acre Shaker goes green

Music festival has sustainable initiatives planned for fifth year

Fundraiser set up after fire destroys Alberni Valley family’s home

Fire on Tseshaht First Nation land leaves young family in need

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Most Read