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

Chemainus Thrift Shop undergoing renovations to improve efficiency

Customers won’t see more room for goods, but office space and storage an important focus

North Cowichan looks to keep tax increase below 3%

Finance team asked to find ways to drop increase to 2.95%

Ladysmith mayor considered running federally, decided against it

Aaron Stone filed papers with Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP to be vetted as a candidate

Roundabout plans at River Road in Chemainus moving forward

Land issues still being resolved before details revealed to the public

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

UPDATED: Three dead in Surrey crash: police

Single-vehicle crash occurred around 10:30 a.m., police remain on-scene

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

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

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Howard the giant gnome finds new home on Vancouver Island

Iconic attraction will move from Nanoose Bay to Galey Farms in Saanich

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

Most Read