Spill response vessels unloaded on Vancouver Island

Boats for Nanaimo, Sooke and Ucluelet won’t enter into service yet due to funding delays

Three coastal spill response boats unloaded on Vancouver Island are becalmed by funding delays.

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation received a shipment of three spill response boats Wednesday in Nanaimo, 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

Saanich Police looking for information relating to suspicious death

The body of a man was found on Crease Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Saturday

250th Free Little Library installed in Victoria

Greater Victoria now has the highest density of mapped little libraries in the country

Urbanists hope to see Victoria’s unused rooftops, parkades, parking lots become usable green space

Downtown Residents Association says city dwellers should have access to parks

For the love of fibre: fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Cemetery tour explores Metchosin’s early history

A tour with grave consequences for those wishing to explore Metchosin’s history takes place Aug. 25

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read