Boat, Harbour Grace wharf roughed up in windstorm
A former RCMP vessel and the wharf in Harbour Grace where it was tied up are both in rough shape following a recent windstorm.
On Saturday, March 11, strong winds and waves pushed a docked vessel named Long Way repeatedly into the wharf. Multiple videos shared online through social media over the weekend show waves and wind pushing the 34-metre ship into the wharf.
We did have insurance — thank god.
— Richard Ballott
Physical evidence of the damage was considerable after the fact, with the ship’s metal exterior bent and twisted. Large pieces of wood alongside the side of the wharf were removed completely.
Long Way was launched in 1958 as the RCMP vessel Fort Steele. It was transferred to the Naval Reserves in 1973 and renamed HMCS Fort Steele 140. It also once served as a ferry for the now resettled community of Great Harbour Deep.
Richard Ballott, the current owner of Long Way, was in Harbour Grace Tuesday to pump water out of the ship and remove it from the harbour. He lives near Springdale and experienced some rough wind himself that day.
“She had punctured a hole in several places on the starboard side,” he told The Compass last Wednesday when asked about damage to Long Way. “She beat right through the wood on the wharf and started pounding into the concrete.”
Ballott said there were no oil spills resulting from the incident and no contaminants on board. An insurance company representative did an assessment on both the wharf and vessel Tuesday.
“It’s up to the underwriters now I guess with everything basically,” he said. “We did have insurance — thank god.”
According to a Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokesman, DFO Small Craft Harbours is presently investigating to determine the extent of damage caused to the wharf during the storm. The DFO spokesman said it’s too early to say when or how repairs will be carried out.
Long Way was tossed repeatedly against the wharf in Harbour Grace last Saturday during a severe windstorm.