A large container vessel carrying cargo broke free of its moorings and ran aground in the Prince Rupert harbour, the Canadian Coast Guard Fisheries and Oceans Canada, confirmed on Nov. 24.
“At approximately 2:00 p.m. today, strong winds caused the container vessel MSC Altair to break its lines from where it was berthed at Fairview Container Terminal,” Monika Cote, manager of corporate communications for Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA), stated in an email to The Northern View.
The incident grounded the ship on the eastern side of Digby Island. Initial reports indicate no significant damage to the vessel, and no injuries have been reported, she said.
The ship was assisted by Port Authority tugs and the Canadian Coast Guard life-saving vessel McIntyre Bay was on the scene.
“Multiple tugs have refloated the vessel, and it is now under its own power and will be moving to anchorage,” Cote said. “More information will be provided as it becomes available.”
As of 5:30 p.m. PRPA confirmed the MSC Altair had been refloated and was being escorted to the outer harbour with a tug and pilot boat escorts.
“When the wind subsides, the vessel will move to anchorage to undergo assessment. PRPA would like to thank all those involved in the swift and safe response to this incident,” the PRPA stated.
Kiri Westnedge, communications advisor and spokesperson for the Coast Guard, told The Northern View, no reports of containers overboard from the vessel were received by the organization.
PrinceRupert Port Authority also advised in the late afternoon on Nov. 24, due to the high winds Prince Rupert was experiencing the roof at the Northern Seafoods building, located on Cow Bay Road, between the Metlakatla Ferry Dock and Northland Cruise Terminal, has become unstable. “We ask that members of the public avoid the area until the wind subsides,” the PRPA stated.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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