Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 28, no. 5 (February 1996), p. 2

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MARINE NEWS 2. In the January issue, in commenting upon the repairing of JAMES NORRIS at Port Weller Dry Docks after her Remembrance Day accident at Colborne, we in dicated that the work would include the repowering of the NORRIS. Regr et tably, such is not the case. At one point, her owners considered repowering the steamer, now 44 years old, but she must be ready to run first thing in the spring, and the work required to fix the hull and internal damage is so extensive that there would be no time during the winter to re-engine the NORRIS and still have her back in service for the start of navigation. We now have more information about the CANADIAN PATHFINDER / CANADIAN H A R VEST scrap tow. Bound for the breakers at Alang, India, the pair departed Mulgrave, Nova Scotia, intow of the Russian tug NEFTEGAZ 16, prior to December 1st. On December 3rd, in heavy weather and some 112 miles northeast of Sable Island, CANADIAN HARVEST, (a) RIMOUSKI (94), broke in two. On December 5th, with the stern section adrift, the bow was released in a position 4 2 . 30 N, 53. 45 W. Both sections were lost. At least one other re port indicated that CANADIAN PATHFINDER also was lost during the tow, but we have no confirmation of that information and tend to doubt its reliability. A look at the lay-up list for Erie, Pennsylvania, will indicate that no ships are wintering at the shipyard there. Erie Marine Enterprises apparent ly no longer is active and is vacating the yard. This leaves the Great Lakes with one less active shipyard. Another lake yard likewise is now inactive, for the earlier reported sale of the Peterson Builders shipyard at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, has failed to materialize and the shipbuilding facility has been closed. Visitors to the foot of Parliament Street on the Toronto waterfront are being treated to an unusual sight. By late December, the mill and silos of the former Victory Soya Mills had been reduced to rubble, and the elevator house was scheduled to be brought down by a controlled implosion. The blast set off on Christmas Eve, however, failed to topple the structure but left it standing at an alarming angle. As yet, no further attempt to demolish the structure has taken place. Meanwhile, the vacant Canada Malting elevator, standing to the east of the Victory Mills plant, has been decorated in an unusual manner. Midnight pranksters, who even put their initials to the work, have painted a huge and colourful rooster on the side of the elevator house. In appropriate fashion, the crowing rooster is facing eastward. The Attorney General of Ontario is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the December decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal which overturned criminal convictions on three counts of dangerous navigation against Gordon Stogdale of the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker GRIFFON. The charges arose out of the March 18, 1991, sinking by GRIFFON of the fishtug CAPTAIN K. on Lake Erie. Wintering at Thunder Bay are the former Detroit River carfloat-pusher tugs R. G. CASSIDY and F. A. JOHNSON. The CASSIDY cleared Detroit on November 25th with the engine-less JOHNSON in tow, and when they passed upbound at the Soo, the lock transit report logged the towing vessel as "FRENCH RIVER (ex R. G. CASSIDY)". This is the first report we have had of a name change. Both former Norfolk Southern tugs are now owned by Gravel & Lake Services Limited, of Thunder Bay. A report appearing in "The Gazette" on December 23rd indicated that "Socanav Inc. expects to report an $11. 35 million loss for the year ended last July 31, and is in the process of liquidating a significant portion of its fleet". The company received permission from the Quebec Securities Commission to delay until January 31st the filing of its financial statement for the 1994-1995 fiscal year, because "day-to-day operations of the compa ny have been transferred to Florida-based Star Maritime Services, which has a joint-venture agreement with Socanav". The report indicated that in addi tion to selling the tankers L'AIGLE and LE FRENE NO. 1 in 1995, Socanav also

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