Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 22, no. 9 (Mid-Summer 1990), Mid_Summer 1990, p. 2

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2. MARINE NEWS In the May issue, wo had mentioned that rumours had b een circulating concern ing the possible sale of two of the v essels of the fleet of the Bethelem Steel Corporation. In fact, although negotiations with several prospective purchasers had been ongoing through the spring, no deal was consummated un til Monday, July 16 th. On that day was finalized the sale of the 1,000-foot motorvessel LEWIS WILSON FOY, as well as the smaller, self-unloading steam er SPARROWS POINT, to the Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton Company. The ships did not immediately change name or colours, and we under stand that the changes may not occur until later this season or early in 1991. In any event, it seems that the rumoured name changes, LEWIS WILSON FOY to ROBERT C. NORTON (ill) and SPARROWS POINT to SYLVANIA (II), will even tually take place, much to the delight of most observers. B et h l ehem will retain ownership of its last two vessels, the 1,000-footers STEWART J. CORT and BURNS HARBOR, but faced with the high cost of administration for a twoship fleet, Bethlehem will award a management contract to another operator, and we understand that Columbia is the winner in this area as well. The move ment of the Bethlehem vessels to the Columbia float will mean that the Ogle bay Norton lake fleet will be better able to handle that company's increased cargo commitments. Fortunately, the operation of the recently reactivated CRISPIN OGLEBAY (II) and J. BURTON AYERS would not seem to be endangered, and the only victim of the deal will be the former ROBERT C. NORTON (II), which has been lying idle at Toledo, much the worse for wear and minus much equipment, and which likely will make an early exit to the scrapyard. Also in the May issue, we mentioned that the handsome Misener Shipping steam er SCOTT MISENER (III) was downbound in the Welland Canal on May 6 , with a cargo of grain for Quebec City, and apparently on her last trip. How right w e were! In Fact, SCOTT MISENER had been sold to the Corostel Trading (Ziff) interests of Montreal, and then quickly resold via the Gibson shipbroker in terests of New York to breakers in India. These were the same interests who previously had handled the scrap sale of Paterson's CANADOC (II). After un loading at Quebec, SCOTT MISENER sailed under her own power for Sorel, where she was laid up for the last time, and very shortly thereafter, she and CA NADOC were taken in tow for a destination in India. SCOTT MISENER (C.194832), was 622.9 x 71.9 x 37.1. 15279 Gross and 103 2 8 Net, and was built in 1954 as Hull 14 of Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. She was much hailed when commissioned, but after only a few years in service began to suffer because of the fact that she was not built to the full dimensions of the n ew St. Lawrence Seaway, which opened in 1959. Accordingly, in latter years, she spent much of her time in idleness and, on several occasions, it had b een imagined that she shortly would b e sold for scrapping. Nevertheless, she remained with the Mi sener fleet, undergoing a costly reactivation several years ago, and she was fitted out for service in the spring of 1 9 9 0 , after having spent a year in lay-up at Toronto. What spelled the end for this much-admired steamer was the fact that scrap steel prices hit an all-time high this spring, and faced with an offer of approximately $1.1 million for the SCOTT, her owners could hardly afford not to sell her. At the time of this writing, we had no con firmation of the exact departure date of SCOTT MISENER and CANADOC from So rel, nor did we know the identity of the tug which towed them, nor their destination. We shall report further when the necessary information becomes available. Another lake vessel whose sale for scrapping was mentioned in the May issue was the P & H Shipping steamer ELMGLEN (II), (a) JOHN O . McKELLAR (II)(84), which had suffered grounding damage late in the 1 9 8 9 season. She sailed un der her own power to the lower St. Lawrence River during May, having been acquired by Marine Salvage Ltd. At last report, she still was lying at So rel, however, pending the acquisition via Marine Salvage Ltd. of another vessel which might be sent overseas in a tandem tow with ELMGLEN. It is in teresting to note that the former McKELLAR and SCOTT MISENER, truly transi tional vessels in respect of their design, and both originally built at the same yard for the same owners, both reached the end of the line and were sold for scrapping during the same year.

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