Statement by Jody Thomas, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard regarding the MV Thorco Crown


February 13, 2017

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Jody Thomas, Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner, made the following statement today regarding the MV Thorco Crown.

“On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, the MV Thorco Crown, a merchant cargo ship with 13 persons aboard, experienced a fire in its engine room that disabled the vessel and set it adrift off the southwest coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, which is the combined Canadian Armed Forces – Canadian Coast Guard centre for search-and-rescue in Atlantic Canada, tasked the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir William Alexander to respond to the situation. The Canadian Coast Guard ship arrived on-scene and assured the safety and security of the crew of the MV Thorco Crown and the marine environment.

On February 8, a private tug attempted to connect a tow line to the MV Thorco Crown and take it to a port of refuge. However, the severe weather and sea conditions impeded the tug’s efforts. After three attempts to connect a line, and as the disabled cargo vessel drifted closer to shore, the CCGS Sir William Alexander intervened. In extreme weather conditions, the Captain and crew of CCGS Sir William Alexander connected a tow line to the MV Thorco Crown and towed the vessel and its crew to safer waters. Early on February 9, the private tug took over the tow and later secured the vessel alongside in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Coast Guard’s swift and professional response to the MV Thorco Crown shows once again how the Canadian Coast Guard responds to significant and challenging marine emergencies. Our members in search and rescue, environmental response and marine communications and traffic services successfully worked together to quickly mobilize people and resources to prevent a disaster in very challenging conditions.  The Department of National Defence, Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada also made invaluable contributions to this response.

Under the Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, the Canadian Coast Guard is expanding its presence and monitoring of Canada’s marine environment to better serve all Canadians.  By increasing our towing capacity, a key to pollution prevention, we are providing greater protection of our coastlines and waterways for future generations.”


Jody Thomas

Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard

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Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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