Tuesday, June 29, 2010

International Fleet Review

With sixteen visiting navy ships in port, the five civilian tugs of Svitzer and Atlantic Towing have been incredibly busy berthing and unberthing ships.

The navy tugs have been equally busy berthing RCN ships.

Today the Glenevis and Glenside had the privilege of berthing HMCS St. John's with HM the Queen, Prince Philip, the Governor General, Prime Minister, Premier and other members of the review party.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bedford Basin activity

1. Svitzer Bedford awaits while the last containers are loaded aboard Stuttgart Express at Fairview Cove.
2. Point Chebucto assists Atlantic Conveyor in turning in Bedford Basin

Atlantic Conveyor arrived in Bedford Basin on Saturday. With a breeze blowing, she called for the Point Chebucto to assist in turning her around to line up for the berth at Fairview Cove.

That berth was still occupied by Stuttgart Express. Svitzer Bedford and Point Chebucto had been standing by for her to sail at 5 pm as scheduled.

However there were delays, and the Stuttgart did not sail until 7pm.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Point Valiant - keeping busy

All tugs in Halifax have been kept very busy this week with the arrival of warships from several navies for the International Fleet Review, taking place next week.

Point Valiant is getting underway at noon time to assist in berthing a US navy ship at HMC Dockyard.
A frequently asked question: Why don't navy tugs berth visiting warships?
There are several answers:
1. Foreign warships are using civilian pilots. Civilian tugs work well with civilian pilots. Navy tugs usually only work with naval berthing pilots, and use different commands and terminologies. Radioed orders to the tugs must be understood and acted upon instantly, so there should never be confusion about meaning. This could happen with naval berthing pilots using civilian tugs.
2. Navy tugs are busy with their own work, which includes berthing Canadian navy ships, and other Dockyard work such as moorings, berthings, and shifting yard craft to support the naval ships. There aren't enough navy tugs to berth an onslaught of foreign naval craft.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Updating the June 21 posting:
Press reports indicate that the ITB Philadelphia was severely damaged in the collision with Rhein Bridge. One of the tug's engine rooms was flooded from a hull puncture. As a result the vessel was declared a constructive total loss (i.e. it would cost more to fix than the vessel was worth). It was subsequently sold to Indian shipbreakers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Force Protection Workboat

The naval Dockyard in Halifax is "fenced off" from the harbour with a floating device called a Force Protection Boom. Unauthorized craft are required to stay away from the boom, which is located in an exclusion zone. Vessels straying into the zone will be intercepted by military police and warned off, or even detained if their intentions seem threatening.
The boom itself, which looks something like an oil containment boom, has a fence on top of it, is anchored at several points and has sections that can open to allow naval craft to enter and leave the Dockyard jetties. Its purpose is to prevent terrorist atacks on naval vessels such as the one that damaged USS Cole in Aden on October 16, 2000.
To maintain the boom, its anchors, buoys and gates, Maritime Command (aka the Navy) has several small craft in its fleet. One such is this vessel, which has pushing knees on the bow, to assist in shoving the boom around. While this does not make it a tug per se, it is certainly a related craft.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Point Valiant dresses for company

Point Valiant returns to her dock after sailing the Danish warship Absalon. Valiant is wearing a tarp on her bow tire so as not to mar Absalon's paint.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oak back, Bedford away

Svitzer Bedford (file photo)

Atlantic Oak with Atlantic Larch in background (file photo)

Atlantic Oak returned to port after a month or so away in Point Tupper filling in for Atlantic Fir, which came to Halifax.. This brings Atlantic towing back up to two tugs in port. Atlantic Larch has remained here all along.
Svitzer Bedford has gone to Lunenburg for her five year survey. This is her first drydocking since arriving in Halifax in the fall of 2005 from builders in Chile. Fleet mate Point Halifax remains in Lunenburg with one stern drive unit out for repairs. Point Chebucto and Point Valiant are the two working tugs in Halifax.