Bulker Strikes Stern of Canadian Icebreaker on St. Lawrence River

A stern view of CCGS Pierre Radisson on another voyage before the casualty (Corporation Pilotes St. Laurent-Central)

Published Jan 23, 2022 7:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Saturday morning, a bulker collided with the stern of its escort icebreaker on the St. Lawrence River, damaging the icebreaker and forcing a brief closure of the waterway. 

At about 1030 hours on Saturday, the bulker Federal Crimson was under way upbound on the St. Lawrence, escorted by the icebreaker CCGS Pierre Radisson. As they neared the Québec Bridge, the distance between the two vessels closed and the Crimson struck the Radisson's stern, indenting the hull plating. Both vessels stayed in the vicinity until about 1300 hours, when they departed. Marine traffic on the St. Lawrence briefly halted at Quebec City after the collision, according to CBC.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed that the vessel was damaged but was not taking on water. No injuries or pollution were reported. While the Pierre Radisson undergoes repairs, the icebreaker Des Groseilliers will fill in and assume her duties. 

The cause of the casualty has not been released, and Transport Canada has launched an investigation. As of Sunday, Federal Crimson was moored at a terminal across from Trois-Rivieres and Pierre Radisson was moored at a pier in Quebec City. 

Pierre Radisson's damage marks the second time in a week that the Canadian Coast Guard has announced a major vessel out of service. The oceanographic research vessel CCGS Hudson entered unplanned retirement last week after a mechanical failure, ending her career early without a ready replacement.