Nfld. & Labrador

Coast guard ship Ann Harvey anchored near Burgeo after striking bottom

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Ann Harvey is now safely anchored 15 miles west of Burgeo, after running aground on Wednesday while doing routine work on buoys off Newfoundland's southwest coast.

Dive teams assessing damage

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Ann Harvey seen mid-afternoon on Wednesday off the coast of Burgeo, taking on water. (The Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Ann Harvey is now safely anchored 15 miles west of Burgeo, after running aground on Wednesday while doing routine work on buoys off Newfoundland's southwest coast.

Divers with the Royal Canadian Navy, based in Halifax, were assessing the damage to determine what repairs could be carried out on-site.

The divers were expected to begin their operation with the help of an underwater remote operated vehicle Thursday afternoon.

Jim Chmiel, superintendent of the regional operations centre for the Atlantic region with the Canadian Coast Guard, said the ship was towed overnight to Connoire Bay by the heavy icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St.-Laurent.

Chmiel said while the ship was damaged and lost power, it could have been much worse.

"There were no injuries, everyone was safe and there were no pollutants in the water," he told the St. John's Morning Show.

"The water levels have basically stayed the same all night, with a slight decrease in the sewage compartment, which is aft of the motor propulsion room."

Two cadets were taken off the ship by helicopter, and they are now safe at a hotel in Burgeo. Chmiel said all other crew members remained on the ship. ​

"The decision was made to send them ashore, but the full 26 crew members are still onboard," he said.

"The Cormorant helicopter was in Burgeo and they used that to transport the cadets."

A lifeboat stationed in Burgeo, the CCGC W.G. George, first arrived at the Ann Harvey and towed the ship to the west. Then, at around 1:30 a.m., the Louis S. St.-Laurent arrived at the scene and took over the tow.

The Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Charlottetown also departed Halifax Wednesday, with plans to provide further support to the Ann Harvey.

Temporary repairs before sailing to St. John's

Sections of the Ann Harvey took on water when it hit bottom, which led to a number of spaces becoming flooded.

The icebreaker Ann Harvey struck the bottom off the coast of Burgeo, Newfoundland. (Canadian Coast Guard)

"The motor propulsion room was flooded, the entire space, and the space after that was also flooded," said Chmiel.

He said the reason why the ship striking bottom is unknown.

"The entire bridge team including the commanding officer was on the bridge when this occurred," he said.

Next, the ship will need to be inspected by navy divers, who will determine the extent of the damage and what needs to be done to repair the vessel.

"The dive team is being transported on scene," said Chmiel.

"The fleet dive unit, the heavy team, is in Stephenville and will be heading to Burgeo later in the day."

Chmiel said the Ann Harvey will be towed back to St. John's once temporary repairs are complete.

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