Abigail Grace will fish again, says Robin Quinlan

The vice-president of Quinlan Brothers says the Abigail Grace will be ready for fishing in the spring, despite a fire in Harbour Grace Wednesday morning.

Fishing vessel damaged by fire in Harbour Grace

Fire crews battled the flames from both outside and inside the vessel to put the fire out. (Submitted by Fire chief Jim Barnes)

The vice-president of Quinlan Brothers says the Abigail Grace will be ready for fishing in the spring, despite a fire in Harbour Grace Wednesday morning.

Robin Quinlan said the engine room was not damaged and the hull is intact on the 25-metre, 220-tonne vessel.

"You can do a lot of work with fibreglass. We'll be fishing by the spring," Quinlan told CBC News Wednesday.

Quinlan said the efforts of the Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Department helped contain the damage to the "shelter deck," which includes the wheelhouse.

He said the seven to eight people who crew the vessel will not be out of work. 

Firefighters in Harbour Grace were called to the Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises wharf around 5 a.m.

Fire chief Jim Barnes said the Abigail Grace was engulfed in flames upon their arrival.

Damages to the fishing vessel are estimated at around $2-million. (Submitted by Jim Barnes)

"En route to the scene, we could see visible flames coming from the area, so we knew we had a working fire going," said Barnes.

He said most of the damage was to the upper deck and wheelhouse areas.

Industry sources say the replacement value for a vessel of this size is around $2-million.

Fire crews managed to put out the fire by battling flames from both outside and inside the vessel.

Barnes said temperatures were cold at the time, but winds weren't high.

Harbour Grace fire chief Jim Barnes says most of the damage appears to be contained in the upper deck and wheelhouse areas. (Submitted by Jim Barnes)

Barnes told CBC's St. John's Morning Show there were no injuries, no one was on board at the time, and the boat remains docked at the wharf.

The fire doesn't seem suspicious in nature, but the investigation has been turned over to the RCMP.

This is the second serious fire at the facility.

Two years ago, the Atlantic Navigator was seriously damaged by fire. That vessel was also owned by Quinlan Brothers.

Paul Lannon, general manager with Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises, says the fire could have caused much more damage and affected operations at the facility. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Paul Lannon, general manager with Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises, said the quick work of the volunteer firefighters averted a much bigger disaster.

They were able to save the boat and keep it from sinking but also avoided damaging the wharf.

 "Although it's a concrete wharf it's got a wooden frame and the wharf is a mainstay of our operation here because it's where we pick our vessels out of the water."

There are currently 30 vessels at Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises, a facility which specializes in repair and maintenance services. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

There are currently 30 vessels at the facility, which specialize in repair and maintenance services.

Lannon said they will do everything in their power to get the fishing vessel up and running as soon as possible for the owners.

"The owner is very anxious to get this boat back into the fleet and back fishing for the spring. Once the inspection is complete we'll see how much time it will take."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.