Oil tanker in trouble on St Lawrence River

Oil tanker in trouble on St Lawrence River

Main pic: Oil tanker Hanne Knutsen discharging crude oil. Photo credit: Marcus Roos
Please note that the photo is not the ship named in the article.

Quebec City (Quebec) 16 October 2014 – We’ve been writing a lot recently about the new super tanker traffic which is becoming more and more prevalent in the gulf of St. Lawrence lately and it now appears as if the superstitions of breakdowns and shipping problems is becoming a reality.

An oil tanker by the name of Genmar Daphne has been anchored of the shore of Les Escoumins, about two hours northeast of Quebec City, due to a mechanical breakdown and has been parked there since Sunday October 12. Transport Canada was told by a member of the crew that one of the emergency fire pumps was not functioning and because of security measures the ship was asked to remain stationary until arrangements could be made to either repair the pump or have the boat escorted to a safe port in Quebec City.

Today October 16, the Genmar Dauphne is still sitting in the middle of the river with no place to go. No one is sure about why the vessel has not been moved to Quebec, or if and when the repairs will be initiated. Transport Canada has contacted everyone involved, including the Montreal company who will be in charge of fixing the broken pump but, so far nothing is moving.

Environmentalists are of course rubbing their hands together as the situation is proof that the tankers will be a problem and are making a point of underlining the circumstances as a prime example as to what can happen. Fortunately in this case there is no danger of any oil leakage or spill but, it is very clear for the group Nature Quebec that the possibilities of breakdowns and spills is very much a reality.

Last week the Premier of the province suggested it would be a good idea to have a special dry dock built to accommodate exactly this kind of mishap in or around Matane and it would appear that perhaps that would be a wise decision.

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