Nfld. & Labrador

Coast guard vessel Ann Harvey hits sea bottom

Two cadets have been taken from the stranded Canadian Coast Guard vessel Ann Harvey, which struck bottom near Burgeo with crew members onboard.

JTF Atlantic reports Ann Harvey taking on water

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Ann Harvey seen taking on water off the coast of Burgeo. (The Canadian Coast Guard)

Two cadets were removed from the Ann Harvey Wednesday after Canadian Coast Guard vessel struck bottom near Burgeo. 

The vessel was five nautical miles southwest of Burgeo doing routine work on buoys when it ran aground, the Coast Guard said. 

"She steamed away from the area but because where the damage occurred it flooded the propulsion motor room," Jim Chmiel, superintendent of regional operations centre, Atlantic region, told CBC News.

Chmiel said crewmembers closed water-tight doors, sealing off the area where water leaked into the ship. 

Twenty-six crew and two cadets were onboard at the time. All are safe, Chmiel said.

The CCGC W.G. George, based in Burgeo, removed two cadets from the ship. Other personnel will also be taken off, and the rest of the crew will stay on for now.

The two cadets were brought to land in a Cormorant helicopter and stayed in a local hotel for the night.

The Joint Task Force Atlantic said it became aware at 11 a.m. that the vessel was taking on water. 

A Coast Guard helicopter and the CCGS Louis S. St.-Laurent, a heavy icebreaker, were heading to the vessel Wednesday, with the help of the Joint Rescue Centre in Halifax.

The icebreaker was expected to reach the Ann Harvey around midnight to tow it to shore, and will then tow the Ann Harvey to safe anchorage in Connoire Bay. 

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

The lifeboat stationed in Burgeo, the CCGC W.G. George, reached the Ann Harvey earlier in the day and attached a tow line to the ship and pulled it farther offshore.

The Coast Guard said the weather in the area is favourable for the ship's position.

A dive team from the Department of National Defense was expected to arrive in Burgeo overnight on Wednesday, to be later brought to the Ann Harvey to survey the hull.