Ice-Damaged Fishing Vessel Nears Safe Harbor

Canadian forces airdrop equipment to the Saputi (courtesy Joint Taskforce-Atlantic)

By MarEx 2016-02-23 21:21:46

The Canadian-flagged stern trawler Saputi was holed by ice off the coast of Newfoundland, but is safe and on her way to Greenland under her own power, her owners say. Canadian and Danish SAR forces provided assistance, including aircraft-delivered dewatering pumps.

"Everybody's fine, everybody's safe, just a matter of being patient, making it all the way to Nuuk, and once they arrive in Greenland, an arrangement will be made to send them home," said Harry Flaherty, the head of her owner, Qikiqtaluuk Fisheries Corporation (QFC).

However, he added that the vessel sustained nearly $1.5 million in combined damages and lost catch.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Saputi was off the coast of Greenland and making five knots towards Nuuk, with an ETA towards Tuesday evening. She was proceeding under escort from the Danish offshore patrol vessel Knud Rasmussen.

Qikiqtaluuk official Jerry Ward said that the vessel struck ice at about 2200 hours on Sunday. She sustained a puncture in the hull in a cargo hold, taking on water, he said. No crewmembers were injured in the incident.

A Canadian C-130 aircraft dropped four dewatering pumps to the Saputi to speed pumping out the punctured hold.

QFC, a joint venture fishing company with a home port in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, owns and operates the Saputi for shrimp and turbot quotas. The 2,500 gt vessel typically has a crew of about 30, and is DNV ice classed 1C for service in light ice conditions.