The tug Samantha J pictured as it was being raised from the bottom of Northumberland Channel on Friday. Photo: Global Diving and Salvage

Sunken tugboat recovered from Nanaimo Harbour waters

Samantha J, which sank in 2014, raised from bottom of Northumberland Channel in two-day operation

A tug that sank near Gabriola Island has been raised from the depths of Northumberland Channel.

The Samantha J, owned by Jones Marine Services, capsized in October 2014 when it ran into difficulties while towing a wood chip barge. The crew was not injured, but the tug was lost until it was hoisted from a depth of just over 66 metres last week in a two-day salvage operation by U.S.-based Global Diving and Salvage.

Rodney Grounds, Port of Nanaimo harbour master, said the salvage outfit arrived Feb. 26 and started setting up for the operation with its remotely operated underwater vehicle and divers.

“Global only had a two-day window to do this … the raising of this vessel was done on behalf of the owner through its insurance company,” Grounds said.

The Samantha J was hoisted onto the salvage barge Arctic Tuk where the tug was drained of water and any remaining fuel and oil before it was re-floated and returned to Jones Marine Services.

“Once the vessel was confirmed to have no hydrocarbons on board, by coast guard, then they were allowed to put it back into the water and the owner took the vessel in tow and took it back to their facility,” Grounds said.

The tug had to be recovered because its position posed a navigation hazard. Grounds said the craft was sitting on the edge of Nanaimo Anchorage 1 site.

“Which rendered it useless. With the raising of that, that restriction was removed the same day as the vessel was sailed out of the harbour. Now I can put a 225-metre ship back in there,” Grounds said, adding that a 225m ship was parked there Saturday.

Another small tug, the Albern, which sank after collided with a larger tug while escorting a log boom in 2016, remains on the bottom of the channel near Duke Point.

“It is not in an area that it’s going to be easy to locate,” Grounds said. “It is in deeper water and it’s not a navigational hazard at this time, so that one will be reassessed by the receiver of wreck. That wouldn’t be a call from us, but it’s a lot smaller tug. It was just a little yarding tug.”

According to Nauticapedia, a volunteer-run nautical heritage website that focuses on Canada’s Pacific nautical history, the Samantha J was built in 1973 and originally christened Northumberland Navigator until its name was changed in 2003. It was owned by MacMillan Bloedel until 1994, then owned by Harmac Pacific 1995-1997 until it was acquired by Jones Marine Services in 1999.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The control room aboard the salvage barge Arctic Tuk as crews raise the Samantha J from the bottom of Northumberland Channel during a salvage operation on Friday. Photo: Global Diving and Salvage

Just Posted

Nanaimo chamber receives B.C. Chamber of Commerce award

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce lauded for community engagement, night market

Nanaimo residents train in rain at Active for Life Expo

Kettlebell, free running among activities on display at PacficSport VI event at Maffeo Sutton Park

Nanaimo Gem and Mineral Show rocking all weekend

Event being held Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26, at the Legion Branch 256

Nanaimo-Ladysmith students put their robots to the test in competition

High school students problem-solved at VEX robotics tournament this week

Bus loop will now remain in downtown Nanaimo until the end of the year

Shelters installed at temporary Port Drive/Front Street transit exchange

Nanaimo kindergarten teacher receives Prime Minister’s award

Departure Bay Eco-School’s Liz McCaw use of experiential learning methods earns her accolade

Nanaimo students press for action on climate change

Strike for Climate was held again Friday; students feel their concerns aren’t being taken seriously

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read