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Arctic Prowler safe after taking on water

The Arctic Prowler was taking on water this morning at the wharf in St. Lunaire-Griquet.
The Arctic Prowler was taking on water this morning at the wharf in St. Lunaire-Griquet.

It was zero degrees Celsius at noon on Monday, Nov. 7, and several members of the St. Lunaire-Griquet Volunteer Fire Department were knee-deep in salt water pumping out a vessel at the local wharf.

The Arctic Prowler, a small fishing vessel, was taking on water.

When the department arrived just after 10 a.m. this morning, the boat was tipped on its starboard side. Five members put on personal floatation devices (PFDs) and breathing apparatuses and ventured into the hold of the boat, setting up pumps.

In three hours, the department, along with several of the crewmembers, managed to fix how the water was coming in and pump thousands of gallons of water out of the boat’s hull.

The department’s deputy fire chief Chris Humby was on hand, with nine other members of the department.

“As you can see, we are getting it,” he said nearing 1 p.m. “All of our firefighters on the ship are outfitted with (safety gear). And we are starting to run out of air. So we’ve called St. Anthony for aid. They’re coming to help us.”

The Arctic Prowler, a small fishing vessel, was taking on water.

When the department arrived just after 10 a.m. this morning, the boat was tipped on its starboard side. Five members put on personal floatation devices (PFDs) and breathing apparatuses and ventured into the hold of the boat, setting up pumps.

In three hours, the department, along with several of the crewmembers, managed to fix how the water was coming in and pump thousands of gallons of water out of the boat’s hull.

The department’s deputy fire chief Chris Humby was on hand, with nine other members of the department.

“As you can see, we are getting it,” he said nearing 1 p.m. “All of our firefighters on the ship are outfitted with (safety gear). And we are starting to run out of air. So we’ve called St. Anthony for aid. They’re coming to help us.”

Deputy Fire Chief Chris Humby (centre) organizes the rescue efforts of the Arctic Prowler on the wharf in St. Lunaire-Griquet.

While waiting for the St. Anthony Volunteer Fire Department to arrive, the pumping was completed.

“Apparently we found the leak and we have it stopped,” Humby said. “I won’t trust that completely until like a day or so later. But it’s the owners’ and the insurance company’s responsibility to take it from there.”

One of the department members climbed off the boat after the pump was turned off, and sat on the back of the fire truck. He took off each of his boots, and turned them upside down. Water poured out of them. He was one of the members who were in the hull when it was filled with water. But it was a short break, he rung out his socks and put the boots back on his feet to continue working.

Several members of the St. Anthony department and three department vehicles arrived just after 1 p.m., and helped the firefighters with their equipment.

The quick response of the fire department was beneficial in keeping the vessel above water. It is now safely tied up at the wharf in St. Lunaire-Griquet.

At this time, the crew and owners were back on the boat, inspecting the damage and offloading equipment off the vessel. Attempts to speak with the owner were unsuccessful.

The amount of damage is unknown at this time, and the cause of the leak was not confirmed to the Northern Pen.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc

Firefighters, in their safety gear, go to the deck of the boat to confirm with the rest of their crew that the boat has been successfully pumped.

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