HMCS Athabaskan breaks free of tow line
Line reconnected with help of Cormorant; ship towed to Sydney
The Canadian navy ship HMCS Athabaskan broke loose from its tow line Friday night and went adrift off Scatarie Island in Cape Breton, CBC News has learned.
Capt. Doug Keirstead, a spokesman for Maritime Forces Atlantic, said there was no one on the ship at the time, but there were people on the tug.
He said the line was reconnected with the help of a Cormorant helicopter from the airbase in Greenwood, N.S.
"One of the crew members who was on the tug was lowered down to Athabaskan to reconnect the line, as was a member of the tug's crew," Keirstead told CBC News on Sunday.
Athabaskan was in St. Catharines, Ont., for a refit. It was on its way to Halifax for the winter when it went adrift.
Once the line was reconnected, the ship was towed to Sydney to wait out the current winter storm. It's not known when it will resume the journey to Halifax.
HMCS Athabaskan went adrift off the same island where the bulk carrier MV Miner went aground in September 2011.
MV Miner was on its way to Europe when the towline snapped. The rusting ship is still beached off Scatarie Island despite several attempts to refloat it.
The Cape Breton community of Main a Dieu is hosting a summit next month to look for ways to get MV Miner scrapped and removed.