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Sunday, March 3, 2024
Damaged canal ship being repaired in Port Weller

When the MV Alanis, a 12,744 metric tonne general cargo vessel bound for Duluth, Minn., sustained damage during a rare mid-afternoon collision on the Welland Canal just over two weeks ago, the ship’s owners called on Heddle Shipyards in Port Weller to make it seaworthy again. 

The owner of the 10-year-old vessel, dship Carriers, needed their ship back on the water fast. Its cargo of wind turbine parts had to get to their customers.

Heddle jumped into action.

“We needed to cut out the damaged areas, replace them and turn it around quickly,” said Ted Kirkpatrick, sales manager for Heddle. “We did a lot of legwork on how to proceed, made a pitch to the owners and secured the contract.”

The collision with McKeil Marine’s MV Florence Spirit, carrying coal to Quebec, occurred starboard side to starboard side, in the bows of both vessels. Cause of the crash is still under investigation. There were no injuries to the total of 30 crew members on both vessels.

After undertaking a comprehensive survey of the damage, including 3D mapping images inside and outside the damaged areas of the hull, Heddle successfully made a pitch for the business.

“We were able to begin fabrication of the required section of the vessel right away,” says Kirkpatrick. “The mapping is a fairly complex effort. There are a lot of curves in that part of the ship. But we are just about complete with the pre-fabrication.

‘Then we need to cut out and lift off the damaged area and install the replacement section.”

The Heddle team will be working 24 hours a day, according to Kirkpatrick.

“We expect the repair to be completed in less than two weeks, hopefully in as little as eight or ten days.”

The Alanis remained moored in Port Colborne until it arrived this past Tuesday in Port Weller, near NOTL's western boundary.

Kirkpatrick won’t put a dollar value on the work, saying simply that it is important for the Port Weller facility to demonstrate it can complete this kind of job quickly and well.

The Alanis, sailing under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, is 138 metres long, with a beam of 21 metres and a draft of 7.3 metres.

Repair work on the Florence Spirit is being done at a shipyard in the United States.



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