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Investigation into suspected vandalism of Canadian Coast Guard vessel continues

The vessel slipped from its cradle, crashing into the ocean floor and coming to rest partially submerged in the icy water of Sambro Harbour. Source: Canadian Coast Guard

The spokesman for a Halifax-area shipyard says he’s optimistic about the cleanup process after a Canadian Coast Guard ship was the target of what police suspect was an act of vandalism Friday night.

The ship, CCGS Corporal McLaren, was at the Canadian Maritime Engineering shipyard in Sambro Head, N.S., for scheduled maintenance. It was discovered on its side in the water Saturday morning, after being released from its secured cradle and sliding down a slip at the shipyard.

Halifax Regional Police said the slip had been damaged, and a shipyard employee reported that a cable on the ship’s cradle and an additional safety cable had been cut clean through.

As police continue to investigate, Ray Gallant, vice president of operations with Canadian Maritime Engineering, said the shipyard will get to work on returning the vessel to an upright position – something he hopes to have accomplished sometime this week.

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READ MORE: Waterlogged Coast Guard ship now being investigated as suspected vandalism

“In broad strokes, the vessel during the refit had some of its components removed for servicing and those are allowing the water to enter the vessel,” Gallant said Sunday.

“So the basic process is we will now seal those holes where the equipment was, and then once those holes are sealed, we will begin to de-water the vessel, which will allow it to re-float.”

In an email Sunday, Jocelyn Lubczuk, press secretary for the minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said efforts were underway to assess the damage to the ship.

“A containment boom has been put in place, and Coast Guard Atlantic Region has an Environmental Response team on site to monitor the situation,” she wrote.

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Lubczuk said the coast guard and Canadian Maritime Engineering are working with Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and police throughout the investigation.

Meanwhile, Gallant said he’s grateful there were no serious environmental impacts or injuries that came out of the incident.

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