2020-11-18

Cormorant finally departs

by GAYLE WILSON

  • <p>GAYLE WILSON, PHOTO</p><p>A bag piper plays as the derelict ship Cormorant, which has languished in the Port of Bridgewater for more than 20 years, finally is towed away.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON, PHOTO</p><p>In tow, Cormorant will meet its demise at a demolition and recycling facility on the Eastern Shore.</p>

It's languished neglected in the Port of Bridgewater for more than 20 years, but when the derelict ship Cormorant was finally towed away to be scrapped November 18, its send-off had the attention of a crowd of onlookers, the media, and the federal minister who was responsible for it.

Amid overcast skies and biting wind, a bag piper played as two tug boats slowly towed the former navy diving support vessel backwards, gradually turned it around, and painstakingly pulled it down the LaHave River.

"This has been been five years since we've been talking about this one, so it's a pretty exciting day to see it leave," said Bernadette Jordan, the MP for South Shore-St. Margaret's who is the federal minister responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans.

Jordan has long since lamented that Canadian ports are becoming dumping grounds for abandoned and derelict vessels, and made it one of her missions in government to change the pattern, starting first with Cormorant.

Cormorant is headed for Sheet Harbour, as part of a $1,87 million contract between the federal government and R.J. MacIsaac Construction. The Antigonish County-based marine construction and demolition firm was enlisted to remove bulk pollutants from the 1960s-era, 75-metre-long vessel and have it prepared for towage to a dismantling and recycling facility.

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