Nfld Pilot Boat Grounded

This could be considered embarrassing.....

Boat Runs Aground
May 29, 2006

Officials begin assessing the damage to a $3 million pilot boat that ran aground in Placentia Bay yesterday morning. The vessel, the more modern of the two which guide shipping activity on the bay, ran aground on Buffett Island and then became partially submerged while being towed to Buffett Bay.

Three people were on board - one spent the night at hospital in Clarenville while another was released after observation.

Anthony McGuinness of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority says a replacement vessell will arrive in the area in about three days.

Pilot Boat Replacement to Arrive Today
June 1, 2006

A replacement for the pilot boat which ran aground on Buffett island this week is expected to arrive in Placentia Bay this afternoon. Tony McGuiness of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority says the rudders and propeller of the stricken vessel were damaged and there are five large holes in the boat. Temporary repairs will be done in Southern Harbour and then it will be taken to dry dock for assessment by adjusters to see if it's worth salvaging. Meanwhile, McGuiness says the crew member who was taken to hospital in Clarenville for injuries suffered in the mishap is now doing okay.

And finally from CBC News:
Salvage effort planned for pilot boat
Last Updated: May 31 2006 07:11 AM NDT
Engineers and divers are trying to find a way to salvage a $3-million pilot boat that ran aground near a small island in Placentia Bay this week.

The vessel — one of two pilot boats that guide tankers and large ships through the tricky waters of Placentia Bay, on the southern Avalon Peninsula — is partly submerged off an island in the middle of the bay.

"Unfortunately, these things do happen," said Tony McGuinness, chief executive officer of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority.

McGuinness said there appears to have been "a bit of fatigue involved" with the operator on board the pilot boat.

Only one pilot boat is still in service in Placentia Bay's busy shipping lanes. (CBC)

"[But] we don't know the full circumstances," he said.

No one was seriously hurt in the incident, and fishermen from Harbour Buffett were able to rescue crew members before the pilot boat sank.

Tony McGuinness said it appears operator fatigue may have contributed to a pilot boat running aground Monday in Placentia Bay. (CBC)

Crews are hoping to bring the pilot boat to surface by as early as Wednesday.

If the salvage operation is successful, the Pilotage Authority will determine whether the vessel can be repaired and put back into service.

Pilot boats are essential in Placentia Bay, which is home to both the Come By Chance oil refinery and the oil transshipment facility in Whiffen Head.

Tankers are frequently seen in the bay, which also contains fishing communities.

The remaining pilot boat will be picking up the slack. An interim replacement vessel is being brought in from Nova Scotia.