Larger tug being prepared for next attempt to tow tanker grounded off Cape Breton

The Canadian Press
Published on January 11, 2017

SYDNEY, N.S. — A salvage company says it's going to use a more powerful tug to pull a grounded tanker from a sandy bottom off Cape Breton, but it's going to require two to three days of preparation.

The vice president of McKeil Marine says attempts to refloat and tow the Arca 1 north of Sydney Mines, N.S., on Tuesday night resulted in only minor movements towards deeper water.

Olous Boag says the tow was called off shortly after high tide and it was determined the larger tug Tim McKeil would be required.

He says the firm remains optimistic the tanker can be moved, but it will require bringing in additional steel wire and floating rope because the more powerful tug must stay about a kilometre away from the grounded vessel.

Boag also says there will be "challenges" involved in setting up the next towing effort, including worsening weather and the freezing of ballast water. 

The Arca 1 — which is carrying 15 tonnes of propulsion fuel — ran aground just north of Sydney Mines on Sunday after losing engine power, and its six-member crew was rescued later that day.

The tanker was en route to Mexico carrying no cargo when it experienced mechanical difficulties. 

The Canadian Press