Grounded freighter being moved to Prince Rupert’s Northland Terminal for repairs

The Amakusa Island, which ran aground earlier this month, is been moved to Northland Terminal to be repaired.

The Amakusa Island, which ran aground 15 kilometres off of Ridley Island earlier this month, is been moved to Northland Terminal to be repaired.

The 228-metre bulk carrier ran aground on July 14 while shifting from berth at Ridley Terminals to its assigned anchorage. The vessel, which has 80,000 metric tonnes of coal in its hold, suffered damage to its hull and began taking on water. To prevent more from entering, the Amakusa Island’s water-tight bulkheads were closed.

While it was initially sitting at a tilt in the ocean, more ballast water was added to the stern compartments so it was resting more evenly.

A decision was made early this week to bring the bulk carrier to berth at Northland Terminal where it would be repaired. After arriving in the afternoon of July 23, diving work will begin on the Amakusa Island the following day.

“Two diving crews will be alternating and work will continue 24 hours a day. It’s anticipated there’s about 15 days of work in order to effect the repairs,” said Michael Gurney, manager of corporate communications for the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

“Essentially what they are doing is patching great sheets of steel over the gash in the starboard or right hand side of the hull below the waterline. This will allow it to continue on its journey across the Pacific.”

Gurney noted the only day there will be an interruption in the repair job is when the Oceania MS Regatta cruise ship makes a stop in Prince Rupert on July 29. At this time, the Amakusa Island will be brought to an inner anchorage, returning either that evening or the following morning.

Transport Canada is currently investigating the cause of the grounding, making an official determination once that is complete.