What is it about ships being towed to the scrap yard? The MT Phoenix under tow, on her way to the scrap yard last July broke her towing cable and drifted ashore on Salt Rocks in Sheffield Beach, South Africa. She was only freed last month and was subsequently scuttled. Last June, the perhaps poorly named MV Wisdom was under tow to a scrap yard when she broke her cable and drifted ashore on Bandra beach, in suburban Mumbai. And two weeks ago , the Canadian Miner, on her way to a scrap yard in Turkey, broke her tow line and ran aground near Scatarie Island, off the coast of Cape Breton, Canada. Mammoet Salvaging, a Dutch salvage company, has prepared a salvage plan and has presented it to Canadian authorities.
Salvage plan for stuck ship to be studied
This is not the first ship to run aground off Cape Breton’s Scatarie Island.
This rugged section of Cape Breton Island east of Louisbourg is known for rough seas, fog and high winds. In the days of sail, the combination proved deadly time and time again as gales and storms slammed ships into the rocks and shoals, and emptied crews into the merciless water.
One of the era’s most famous ships, HMS Feversham, went down off Scatarie in the October 1711 gale. The war ship was escorting three supply ships in the British invasion fleet that was bound for an attack on Quebec.
Of the 150 crew on board only 48 survived. The shipwreck was discovered off the rocks of Scatarie Island in 1996 and many Dutch, Spanish and American colonial coins were recovered.
As well, a ferry steamer called the SS Bruce, which used to ferry passengers from Port Aux Basque, N.L. to North Sydney, was blown off course in 1911 and smashed on the rocks of Scatarie Island. Two people lost their lives in that shipwreck.
A video of the MV Canadian Miner in happier times: