Atlantic Towing is underway with the annual northern supply mission headed by Quebec-based maritime transport firm, Groupe Desgagnés.
Atlantic Towing has deployed two tugboats, the Atlantic Elm and the Atlantic Beech, to Baker Lake, Nunavut; the vessels departed Saint John, NB and are now sailing north through Hudson Bay with two barges in tow. They will spend the next four months delivering critical supplies to the Baker Lake community and two nearby mining operations.
Each tugboat is manned by a crew of seven; they will be relieved in August by a second crew and then return in September to finish the mission and sail the vessels back to Saint John.
“The crews on this sail have to know the boats. This northern work is a big part of our Coastal business and requires a specific skill set which our seafarers have gained over years of working on this contract,” says Gilles Gagnon, General Manager of Atlantic Towing.
“They’re heading to a remote location and have to be able to think on their feet, adhere to plans and remain resilient. This is the kind of voyage where they need critical spares on hand and the capacity to overcome challenges as they arise. We’ve been working with Groupe Desgagnés since 2010. The crews know each other and work together with respect and collaboration.”
Baker Lake remains Nunavut’s only inland community. As such, it is inaccessible to larger supply ships. The tugs rendezvous with Desgagnés cargo ships near Helicopter Island, northwest of Hudson Bay, where they take on supplies. From there, the tugboats and barges make their way through the narrows to Baker Lake, sailing between the cargo ships and community, ensuring supplies are delivered before ice begins to form in the fall.
“The crews are the most important part of our Baker Lake operation and I am proud of the great work they do every year,” says Jared Ryall, Coastal Vessel and Barge Superintendent for Atlantic Towing.
“We wish them the best of luck and a safe, successful season.”
Tides Are Calling
Headquartered in Saint John, NB, Atlantic Towing Limited delivers diverse, award-winning marine services. Over the next three years, Atlantic Towing forecasts 300 employment opportunities, including over 100 student employment opportunities. For more information, visit atlantictowing.com.