Towing operations begin to remove Cormorant from the Port of Bridgewater

News release

Vessel Cormorant in Bridgewater, N.S.
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, seen with Incident Commander David Yard (centre, front) and the Coast Guard team who directed the operation to permanently address the threat of pollution posed by the Vessel Cormorant in Bridgewater, N.S.

November 18, 2020

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia - The Government of Canada is committed to removing wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels that pose a threat of pollution to the marine environment, impact coastal communities and pose a health and safety risk to Canadians.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced the beginning of towing operations to remove the Cormorant vessel, moored for about 20 years at the Port of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

A 2019 assessment showed the Cormorant posed an imminent threat of pollution to the marine environment with no clear evidence of active maintenance on the vessel, among other findings. The Cormorant was secured and work has been underway since October to remove pollutants and stabilize the vessel to prepare for towing.

The Canadian Coast Guard has been working closely with RJ MacIsaac Construction Ltd. of Antigonish, N.S., which was awarded the contract to remove the remaining bulk pollutants from the Cormorant, and to tow and dismantle the vessel safely.

The Cormorant will be towed to a shipyard in Sheet Harbour, N.S., where it will be dismantled and no longer pose a risk to Nova Scotia’s people and beautiful marine environment.

Additional multimedia

Vessel Cormorant in Bridgewater, N.S.
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, inspects the vessel Cormorant prior to it being towed out of Bridgewater, N.S. The vessel posed an immediate threat of pollution.
Vessel Cormorant in Bridgewater, N.S.
The vessel Cormorant is towed out of Bridgewater, N.S. on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

Quotes

“Our ports are not dumping grounds – they are hubs for community and industry. The Cormorant posed a clear and present threat to the safety and environment of the LaHave river, and I’m proud that we are moving forward with its removal for the benefit of the entire community. Finding a lasting solution to the Cormorant has been a priority for me for years, both as a community member and a Member of Parliament. Now, with its responsible removal, our ocean environment will be safer, cleaner, and more productive.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • Constructed in 1963, the Cormorant is 74.7m long, with a 11.9m breadth and a displacement of 2,350 long tonnes.

  • In 2015, due to the threat posed by the vessel, the Canadian Coast Guard took necessary action to refloat and stabilize the Cormorant.

  • In September 2020, the Coast Guard issued a Request for Proposals seeking parties able to safely eliminate the threat of pollution posed by the vessel. That process closed on September 28, 2020.

  • Following a fair and competitive bid process, a contract was awarded to RJ MacIsaac Construction Ltd. of Antigonish, Nova Scotia for the safe dismantling and removal of the Cormorant from the Port of Bridgewater. RJ MacIsaac Construction Ltd. is a marine construction and demolition company that specializes in ship recycling and other marine contracting. The contract is valued at $1.817 million.

Contacts

Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-550-9594
Jane.Deeks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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