2. The tug arrived in Halifax in 2001 in tow of Topaz. Even Russian tugs in service can look like derelicts.
3. Tugs moved Neftegaz 29 in 2002 (her official name was Sable Sea at the time.)
One of a large fleet of supply/pipe carriers built for the USSR in Poland, the former Neftegaz 29 moved today from its longtime layup position in Bedford Basin. Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Larch moved the old vessel as a dead ship to pier 9.
Built in 1984 by Stoc. im. Konuny Paryskiej in Gdynia, Poland it was one of 55 vessels of its class. Reportedly built of excellent steel, with ice capabilities, the ships were of an obsolete design, and some were laid up on delivery.
Secunda Marine Services of Dartmouth acquired four vessels of the class, Neftegaz numbers 1, 2, 14 and 29. Numbers 1 and 2 were converted to the tug suppliers Burin Sea and Trinity Sea. Number 14 was transformed in to Panuke Sea.
Number 29 arrived in Halifax November 15, 2001 in tow of the Russian tug Topaz. Even then it was apparent that the ship has been laid up for some time. Although there was some activity on board in 2002 and again 2003 when one of her engines was removed for use on a sister vessel, she has spent most of the last 10 years laid up at Secunda's (formerly Gulf Oil's) Burnside pier in Bedford Basin. Now that all useful parts have probably been removed for re-use, she is pretty much in derelict condition and there is evidence of vandalism.
Shortly after Secunda acquired the ship they renamed it Sable Sea, but in 2002 this was changed to Intrepid Sea to free up the name for another supplier. Neither of these names has ever been painted on the ship.
In 2007 ownership of Secunda was taken over by McDermott, but there were no outward signs of change in the company.
Today's move may mean the end for the ship. We will soon discover if she is going to be sold to the navy for use as a target (most likely scenario in my mind), sold for scrap or even (unlikely) rebuilt.