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

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

Just Posted

Inspirational Parksville youngster Kaiden Finley dies after cancer battle

‘He was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

DCCs to assist in funding land acquisitions and development

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

Wires left dangling after van crashes into hydro pole in Dashwood

Road closed while BC Hydro crews dealt with situation

Police go on hunt for distracted drivers in Parksville Qualicum Beach

One motorist ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt and using a cellphone while driving

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

Most Read