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The HM Tacoma Undertakes Harbour Improvement Work at French Creek BC
by John MacFarlane 2016
The huge crane barge HM Tacoma working at the entrance to French Creek Harbour. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )
In November 2016 harbour improvement work was being carried out by the HM Tacoma.
The fleet consists of the escort tug H.M. Scout, the crane barge HM Tacoma, and the barge H.M. Blue Horizon working on the breakwater project. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )
Heavy Metal Marine Ltd. of Victoria brought up their spud barge, which carries a 50 ton crane, the HM Tacoma escorted by the tug tender H.M. Scout and a debris barge. They are undertaking work at the entrance to French Creek Harbour moving and replacing the stone breakwater works there. The crane barge was built in 1966 at Houston TX USA by North American Marine Inc. 45.56m x 13.65m x 3.05m steel 532.39gt 159.72rt. It usually works in conjunction with the H.M. Blue Horizon a debris barge.
Detail of the HM Tacoma (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )
Heavy Metal Marine Ltd. on their website says they were established in 2004 and owned by Brian Freethy and Ashly Williams. They focus on pile driving, marine construction, bridges and structures as well as trades services such as welding, fabrication, flotation and civil works. Their finished projects can be seen in many ports and foreshore settings up the coast.
The entrance to French Creek Harbour (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )
Tug Tender H.M. Scout (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )
The crane barge tender H.M. Scout has had a long history on the coast. Built in 1961 by Star Shipyards (Mercers) Ltd. she started life as Westminster Scout, then as Yucata Scout; then as C.M. Scout, then as H.M. Scout. 12.01m x 4.57m x 0.94m steel 24gt 16rt.
In 1961 she was owned by Westminster Tugboats Ltd., New Westminster BC. In 1975 she was owned by Westminster Charters Ltd., New Westminster BC. In 1977 she was owned by Westbay Towing & Salvage Ltd., Lund BC. In 1979–1995 she was owned by Westview Tugboats Ltd., Lund BC. In 1999 she was owned by Susan Reynolds, Campbell River BC. In 2001–2003 she was owned by Pacific Cachalot Ltd., Campbell River BC. In 2004 she was owned by 570708 B.C. Ltd., Ucluelet BC. In 2011–2014 she was owned by Katzie Coast Marine Services Inc., Vancouver BC. In 2015–2016 she was owned by Heavy Metal Marine Ltd., Victoria BC.
The huge clamshell bucket lifts boulders from the barge and drops them into place on bottom prepared by the excavator on the second barge. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )
In an unrelated incident to the current work, on March 02, 2016, in a storm, the tug H.M. Scout unfortunately lost its tow when the tow line parted 0.4 nautical miles south of Victoria, British Columbia. The barges H.M. Tacoma and H.M. Blue Horizon, subsequently went aground on the south coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The broken tow line fouled the tug’s propeller and the tug returned to Victoria at slow speed. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada states (Marine investigation M16P0062) "There were no reported injuries or pollution."
The French Creek Harbour Authority office (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )
The French Creek Harbour Authority does not appear to have a website or an online presence so any other details of the work so the details of the harbour project are unobtainable. The French Creek Marina is an active one, with lots of working vessels and related industry.
To quote from this article please cite:
MacFarlane, John M. (2016) The HM Tacoma Undertakes Harbour Improvement Work at French Creek BC. Nauticapedia.ca 2016. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/HM_Tacoma.php
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