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

Spill response vessels unloaded in Nanaimo

Spill response vessels designed for heavy weather won’t enter into service yet due to funding delays

Three coastal spill response boats unloaded in Nanaimo are becalmed by funding delays.

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Opal Road was never dangerous until it was blocked off

Traffic calming is creating problems where none existed before, says letter writer

Nanaimo man hit with six-foot pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Nanaimo RCMP looking for bicycle’s owner

Witness saw Marin road bike dumped in ditch and called police

VIU program to offer indigenous students chance to explore careers in trades

Vancouver Island University, Camosun College providing exploratory trades skills foundations courses

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Incident happened Sunday at a Dairy Queen location in Nanaimo

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Incident happened Sunday at a Dairy Queen location in Nanaimo

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mayor and council aren’t necessary

Instead of candidates, put municipal priorities on the ballot, says letter writer

Young musicians to gather in Nanaimo for West Coast Youth Fiddle Summit

Fiddlers from B.C., Alberta and the Yukon to participate in second annual event

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

Pro wrestler Raven to re-live ECW, WCW, WWE days

Pro wrestler host a talk Jan. 31 at the Queen’s in Nanaimo

Baby Bear statue returned to be reunited with Mama and Papa in Island Secret Garden spot

Culprit left it near the Henry Road roundabout in Chemainus with a note attached

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Most Read