The hull of the C.R.C. tugboat

The hull of the C.R.C. tugboat

Help needed to save a piece of Prince Rupert’s marine history

Plans are in place to restore a piece of Prince Rupert's marine history, but organizers are reaching out to the community to help.

Plans are in place to restore an important part of Prince Rupert’s marine history, but organizers are reaching out to the community to help.

For decades, the C.R.C., a 44-foot wooden tugboat owned and operated by Capt. Charlie Currie, could be found makings its way through the waters around Prince Rupert. Whether hauling supplies to isolated communities, helping in the construction of docks along the coast or carrying school children, there was no task the C.R.C couldn’t do between its construction at Prince Rupert Drydock in 1929 and the death of Capt. Currie in 1997. The exploits of the ship, including war-time work, were captured in 1997’s Charlie’s Tugboat Tales, written by former Prince Rupert This Week editor Bruce Wishart.

When Currie passed away, the tug was meticulously restored, but 16 years of North Coast weather has left the ship in a state of disrepair.

Brian Hadland of the Prince Rupert Fire Museum is one of those hoping to once again restore the C.R.C., but space is needed to do the work. The wheelhouse of the ship is being stored at the Fire Museum warehouse while the hull is being stored at Wainwright Marine, but the hull has to find a new home before work can get underway.

“We can’t do anything for restoration, we can’t do fundraising or anything, until we can secure a piece of property for the hull … if we can’t find somewhere for it, it could be destroyed and I would hate to see it lost,” he said, noting the last time the C.R.C. was restored it cost approximately $60,000.

“I would love to see it brought back to life and put in Mariner’s Park. We have the Kazu Maru, but we have nothing of Prince Rupert’s marine history so that would be a great place for it.”

Anyone who may have space to store the hull of this important piece of North Coast history can contact Hadland at 250-624-3902.