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Former clam trawler still lingering in Grand Bank harbour despite being sold

Yahweh, formerly the Atlantic Pursuit, has been tied to the wharf in Grand Bank for over a decade.
Yahweh, formerly the Atlantic Pursuit, has been tied to the wharf in Grand Bank for over a decade. - SaltWire Network file photo

GRAND BANK, N.L. – The vessel formerly known as the Atlantic Pursuit continues to be a source of frustration and concern for Grand Bank council.

The new owner has invested a significant amount of money on repairs and upgrades, but the process to get the vessel out of port has proven to be difficult and is taking much longer than hoped since the sale.

Now, it looks as if there are more roadblocks to having the vessel removed from the harbour.

According to a discussion during the June 18 council meeting in Grand Bank, a representative from insurer Lloyd’s of London recently completed a survey of the ship and came back with 52 recommendations.

It was noted during the council meeting ongoing work to replace the wharf in Grand Bank will mean the ship must be moved from its current berthage within four to six weeks.

“Reading through (the recommendations) I don’t know if you can do (them) in four to six weeks,” Mayor Rex Matthews said. “Some of them seem pretty challenging to me.”

One of the recommendations involves providing a stability condition for the vessel’s sailing condition. If no documentation is available from the previous owner, a qualified naval architect will be required to provide a stability calculation.

“Given the extensive work required to make the vessel ready for either towage or voyage under own power, a comprehensive plan needs to be formulated to ensure the necessary work can be completed in a timely manner,” the surveyor’s report notes.

This past December marked 11 years since a rogue wave took the ship out of commission. At the time, it belonged to Clearwater Seafoods Ltd.

The vessel, now called Yahweh, has been tied to the wharf in Grand Bank ever since, changing ownership on multiple occasions.

The former trawler was seized from its then owner in 2015 to pay outstanding debts owed to the Grand Bank Harbour Authority. It was eventually sold once more to the current owner who is planning to take the boat to Honduras in Central America.

During the meeting, Matthews asked Coun. George Bennett, a marine engineer, to review the recommendations and give his opinion on those he thinks are the most serious.

Deputy Mayor Clayton Welsh, meanwhile, asked Bennett for his thoughts on if the boat is a risk to sink in the harbour.

Bennett’s answer was not comforting.

“That’s a fear that I’ve got,” he responded. “All you need is a valve to leak and you’ve got a serious problem there, and that’s getting more and more likely to happen as time keeps going.”

paul.herridge@southerngazette.ca

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