Saturday, 3 December 2016

Ships and ship breaking in Liverpool, NS. (UPDATED)

This weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time in my home town of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and of course I had to check out the progress being made in breaking up former HMC Ships PROTECTEUR, ALGONQUIN, and IROQUOIS. All three ships are currently residents of the Port Mersey Commercial Park, the former Bowater Mersey Paper Company property and wharves.

I arrived late on Friday afternoon, just in time to catch the setting sun illuminating what little remains of PROTECTEUR. 

Hulk of former HMCS PROTECTEUR.
PROTECTEUR started off on the Brooklyn side of the wharf where ALGONQUIN and IROQUOIS are now, but was moved around prior to the latter's arrival. Her bridge and hangar superstructures were removed some time ago, and they have started to break her up below deck level as can be seen near the stern in the image above. An area is being prepared ashore, and once the ship is broken down closer to the waterline, the remains will be hauled ashore.

Correction: I am informed that due to the limited width of this side of the wharf, demolition work can't practically continue afloat, and they intend to haul the ship ashore as she appears here. This makes sense, as during the summer that I worked that wharf, the only ship we loaded on that side was one of the Gorthon boats, which was roll-on/roll-off via vacuum forklifts and a side mounted elevator.

If you look closely at the bow just above the current waterline, it appears as if they have already cut a patch straight through the hull where a chain or cable has already been passed through - this will presumably be used to haul the remains out of the water. 

Similar methodology was used to break up the former HMC Ships GATINEAU and TERRA NOVA in Pictou, NS, several years earlier:

Ex-GATINEAU (left) and ex-TERRA NOVA (right) in Pictou, NS, in December, 2009.
As an aside, you can tell the difference between the two ships because ex-TERRA NOVA had her grey paint extended down to the waterline, and a fake hull number added to the bow (now covered up with slightly darker grey paint), for her appearance in the movie "K19 - The Widowmaker". The painted black waterline had made it too obvious that she was light in the water from being stripped of equipment and fuel.

As seen in October 2010, the cut down hulls of ex-TERRA NOVA (back) and ex-GATINEAU (foreground) in Pictou for breaking up.
Some time later both ships had been broken up almost down to the waterline, and they were then hauled into an excavated basin on the shore for the work to be completed.

 ALGONQUIN has been in Liverpool for some time, but work has focused on PROTECTEUR, and there is little sign on ALGONQUIN's exterior of any work being done.

IROQUOIS is the new arrival, having only left Halifax on November 24th.

Ex-IROQUOIS departing Halifax in the rain on November 24th.
I once again sent my father on assignment to capture her arrival the next day. 

Atlantic Spruce towing ex-IROQUOIS past Moose Harbour in Liverpool Harbour, with Atlantic Hemlock steering from the stern.

Taken from the other side of the harbour in Brooklyn, ex-IROQUOIS rounds the breakwater.

Atlantic Hemlock eases ex-IROQUOIS backwards into her berth rafted alongside ex-ALGONQUIN.
It was getting dark when I finally made it over to Brooklyn on Friday evening.

Ex-ALGONQUIN (left) and ex-IROQUOIS (right) alongside at Port Mersey.
I felt it necessary to go back the next day during daylight.
As luck would have it, CCGS Edward Cornwallis was also paying a visit to Liverpool during my visit.

I first got a shot of her from the Liverpool side, with the Coffin Island lighthouse in the background.

This shot is from the Brooklyn side of the harbour, from the breakwater.
Coincidentally, I got almost the exact same shot of Edward Cornwallis in Halifax back on November 21st just after sunrise.

CCGS Edward Cornwallis in Halifax.

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