December 6, 2018 3:38 pm
Updated: December 7, 2018 10:35 pm

Nova Scotia announces plans to repair CSS Acadia on 101st anniversary of The Halifax Explosion

CSS Acadia, known as "Halifax's Grand Old Lady," has been left to rust away in the Halifax Harbour as much needed repair and maintenance work has been delayed due to a lack of funding.

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The Nova Scotia government has announced they plan to repair CSS Acadia, the only vessel to have survived The Halifax Explosion, on the 101st anniversary of the event that helped contribute to its status as a national historic site.

The steel-hulled vessel, known as Halifax’s Grand Old Lady, has been a central attraction at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax for years.

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But the vessel has not been drydocked since 2010 — a process typically undertaken every six or seven years — and has been left to suffer from the destructive force of salt water and time.

In September, the government told Global News there was no “definitive” timeline for when CSS Acadia will go into drydock.

READ MORE: People gather to mark 101st anniversary of the Halifax Explosion

But on Thursday, the Nova Scotia government announced that they’d be making repairs to the vessel. The government did not immediately respond to requests for more information on when CSS Acadia will undergo repairs.

The Canadian Scientific Ship Acadia or CSS Acadi is nearly 105 years old and has the distinction of being the only surviving vessel to have served the Royal Canadian Navy in both world wars.

The province says that they will repair the deck and sub-deck of the vessel while drydocking the vessel to repair the hull, electrical systems and ballast tank.

Nova Scotia did not provide details on how much the repairs would cost, although documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request revealed in September that long-term upgrades documented in 2013 such as asbestos abatement and determining the integrity of the propeller and shaft are estimated to cost approximately $1.4 million.

“Failure to address current chronic problems [leaking decking causing corrosion below deck, corroded steel decking and fixtures, etc.] will lead to continued deterioration which may lead to restricted access and ultimately, vessel failure,” a briefing note reads.

WATCH: The slow destruction of the CSS Acadia in Halifax Harbour

The costs could increase depending on what was discovered when the vessel would go into drydock. The hull, in particular, is proving to be a bigger problem than first reported.

An amendment to the same briefing note indicates that during a tour on April 18, 2018, the ship’s caretaker pointed out a visible hole in the hull approximately seven feet below the deck and about five feet above the water line.

A picture of the hole in the hull of the CSS Acadia.

Nova Scotia Government

According to the note, the ship’s caretaker, Steve Read, pointed out the hole and stated that he thought he could see daylight when he looked at the spot. Upon bumping the area with the toe of his boot, the steel gave away to expose the existing hole.

“Concerns were raised that this was encountered by ‘accident,’ so what else has deteriorated to this point. I thought that I’d make you aware of the incident, given the potential seriousness of the situation,” the amendment reads.

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