Province awards procurement to dismantle, remove abandoned vessel in Feltzen South


  • <p>NOVA SCOTIA LANDS TENDER, PHOTO</p><p>The Schwalbe, an abandoned vessel that ran aground in Feltzen South in 2015 and has languished there ever since, is set for demolition and removal. See story Page 2.</p>

The Schwalbe, an abandoned vessel that's languished on the Feltzen South shoreline since 2015, is set for demolition and removal.

Nova Scotia Lands, a provincial Crown agency that's been dealing with abandoned and wrecked boats, awarded a $29,000 procurement to a Cape Breton civil and marine construction firm December 29.

Inverness County-based Zutphen Contractors is tasked with dismantling and removing the 17-metre vessel, along with any debris from it, as well as disposing of garbage in or around the boat and any contaminants or spilled fluids.

The company also must establish measures to maintain riparian vegetation and ensure proper sediment controls.

Materials slated for demolition "must be dismantled, recycled and discarded off-site" at an approved government facility, but the company "may process and remove all steel and other scrap from the site for sale for its own credit," according to the procurement.

Nova Scotia Lands is overseeing the work which is being funded by Transport Canada. Neither agency is immediately saying much about the job.

"Further information on project timelines will be available from them in due course," Transport Canada spokesperson Sau Sau Liu responded to LighthouseNOW in an email.

"We are not able to comment on the projects yet as we are waiting for the formal announcement from Transport Canada," Trish Smith, a spokeswoman for Nova Scotia Lands, added also in an email.

The company's authorization to proceed with the work, which is expected by January 28, "will fix the date on which the contract times or milestones will commence," according to the tender.

Estimated to be about 90 years old, Schwalbe ended up aground in Feltzen South, near Riverport, in February 2015, after it broke free from a mooring in Lunenburg harbour.

The boat's original owner, who is from the United Kingdom, and his partner from Thailand landed in Nova Scotia when a five-day venture between Bahamas and Bermuda ended up being a gas tank-emptying, 30-plus-day epic on dangerous seas as a storm blew the vessel off-course.

Fishers feared the boat would break-up and leak contaminants.

Transport Canada later determined Schwalbe's owner left the country, which led Ottawa to eventually take possession and oversee an assessment as a precursor to removal under federal law.

Notices advising of the federal government's intentions were published in October 2019.

Nova Scotia Lands procurement was issued December 10, and closed 13 days later.

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