The tanker ship, the Chem Norma, became a popular attraction in South Dundas from Tues., May 31 until the next Monday. The stuck vessel drew massive crowds to see the efforts of three tug boats working to free the ship from a berm just off the vessel’s course. Morrisburg’s, The Docksyde restaurant even created a special for the occasion. Sawyer Helmer photo
Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
MORRISBURG – The tanker ship, Chem Norma, has finally been freed after days stuck in front of Morrisburg when it lost steering control and ran aground on the morning of Tues., May 31.
Three tug boats worked to free the vessel. The Ocean K. Rusby and the Ocean Pierre Julien worked throughout the week. When the ship still did not budge they were joined by Canada’s largest and most equipped tug, the Ocean Tundra. The Ocean Tundra joined Canada’s ranks in 2014 after being commissioned by Ocean Groupe Inc. of Quebec City. Claiming the title of the most powerful tug, the Ocean Tundra has a Bollard Pull (ahead) of 110.3 tonnes. The tug has a deadweight of 325 tonnes, is 36 metres long and is routinely used for icebreaking duties in Canada’s east regions, the St. Lawrence and the Seaway.
Despite the addition of the powerful tug, their efforts were still thwarted until Sunday when the St. Lawrence River board announced they would raise water levels by way of the Long Sault control dam to help assist the tugs in freeing the ship. Water levels raised 40 centimetres over 18 hours but were expected to return shortly to previous levels.
Finally the Chem Norma was pulled from shore on Sunday after 4 p.m. The ship was anchored to undergo inspection before resuming its course.