Lumber aboard the Cielo de San Francisco was knocked loose during the heavy winds that hit the North Coast earlier this month.

Lumber aboard the Cielo de San Francisco was knocked loose during the heavy winds that hit the North Coast earlier this month.

Fairview workers help reload ship hit by fall storm

Workers at Fairview Terminal are helping to reload a ship that was caught in the storm system that hit the region over a week ago.

Workers at Fairview Terminal are helping to reload a ship that was caught in the storm system that hit the region over a week ago.

The Cielo de San Francisco was headed for China from Vancouver with an entire shipment of cut lumber stacked on pallets when it hit the storm system with hurricane-force winds out on the Pacific. The boat was rocked so hard that bonds holding the pallets of lumber in place broke, causing their cargo start shifting around.

“Whatever it is that holds lumber in place is broken in several places and lumber has spilled out from the very neat little cubes they come staked in,” said Prince Rupert Port Authority spokesperson Michael Gurney.

The ship came into the port on September 22, and the Port Authority and Maher Terminals set out to get the ship ready to sail again. To do this took quite the operation, a barge had to be called in to sit next to the ship to steady it while long shoremen took on the task of completely re-stacking the ship’s cargo, which required taking  cargo out and putting it back in while maintaining balance on the ship.

“Its actually a pretty normal request to ask for refuge and, of course, the Port Authority has final say, but obviously we wouldn’t say no,” said Gurney.

If there was any time for something like this to happen, now was as good a  time as any because re-stacking has not interrupted the port’s regular schedule of ships coming to the terminal so  local workers get some extra hours paid for by a company that usually uses Vancouver’s port.

The work on the Ceilo de San Francisco is expected to be done early this week,  then the ship is expected to resume its trip to China.