Crash threatens Vancouver shipyard’s schedule for new coast guard ships

The delivery of the vessel was already years overdue

A worker walks through the Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards as the main girder of a new 300-tonne gantry crane is lifted into place in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday April 2, 2014. A Vancouver shipyard is searching for answers after a fisheries science vessel that it is building for the Canadian Coast Guard, and which is already overdue, ran into a breakwater near Victoria. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

A Vancouver shipyard is searching for answers after the fisheries science vessel it built for the Canadian Coast Guard — and whose delivery is already years overdue — ran into a breakwater near Victoria.

Seaspan Shipyards vice-president Tim Page says the CCGS Sir John Franklin was finishing its first week of sea trials Friday when it crashed into the Ogden Point breakwater.

READ MORE: New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

While the cause of the crash is under investigation, Page says an initial assessment found damage to the propeller, rudder and a portion of the hull on the port side above the water line.

The crash is the latest bit of bad news for Seaspan and the Franklin, which is the first of three science vessels being built for the coast guard at a cost of $687 million and was originally scheduled to be delivered in 2017.

Seaspan had planned to deliver the vessel to the coast guard this summer, and Page says it is too early to tell how the collision will affect the ship’s cost and timetable.

The fear is that another delay could create a domino effect on the rest of Seaspan’s work in the coming years, including the other two science vessels, two naval supply ships, an ocean science vessel and a heavy icebreaker.

The Canadian Press

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