Nova Scotia·Video

Sunken boat refloated in Sydney Harbour

A half-sunken boat abandoned in Sydney Harbour several years ago was refloated Friday in the first step toward removing the eyesore.

Cape Anne III was stuck in water for several years

The Cape Anne III resurfaced Friday. (Submitted by Whylie Mulvihill)

A half-sunken boat abandoned in Sydney Harbour several years ago was refloated Friday in the first step toward removing the eyesore.

The 53-metre Cape Ann III sank while it was being towed. It has rested on its side, half-submerged, for several years. The old trawler was floated Friday as part of a joint Canadian-U.S.military exercise.

Capt. Steve Wilson with Joint Task Force Atlantic said it posed a great challenge for the engineers.

"For them, it's figuring out what are the knowns and determining the unknowns, so in this case it's a big problem. Where are the holes in the vessel? And then plugging those holes so they can raise it in such a way that it comes up," he said.

Wilson said the holes were plugged with corks and plywood. The water was pumped out of the hull and it was raised.  

Artificial reef plan failed

The old trawler will be pulled up onto the shore in the next couple of days. It will be cut up and sold for scrap.  

The Artificial Reef Society of Nova Scotia had acquired the vessel in the hope of raising and transporting it to the Bras d'Or Lakes to create an artificial diving reef. It was unable to do that, so it leased the boat to the navy for $1.

The operation was a Frontier Sentinel exercise. Those allow Joint Task Force Atlantic, the U.S. Fleet Forces, the U.S. Coast Guard as well as government and non-governmental agencies to practice operations to defend against threats in maritime Canada and the U.S.

The Cape Ann III was part of an explosion scenario that started in the North Atlantic and moved into Sydney Harbour.

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