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The James Whalen has sunk

Crews are limited in what can be done immediately with the historic Tug Boat

THUNDER BAY – The historic James Whalen tug boat at Kaministiquia River Heritage Park sunk into the river on Sunday morning.

“The tug boat has taken on water again over the period of time during the rain and the thawing in spring here and we were unable to observe any change until this time,” said Cory Halvorsen, manager of parks and open spaces.

“It looks like it took on enough water to become fully submerged and disconnect from the mounts on the dock as well.”

This is not the first time the 117-year-old tug boat took on too much water, the James Whalen also partially sank last year but crews were able to pump enough water out to keep it from fully submerging, this year will be a completely different story.

“I think we’re dealing with a completely different situation this time. Last year we were able to respond before it got to this point and we were able to pump the water out and get it back out of the water,” said Halvorsen.

“But now we’re looking at a different situation where it’s fully submerged and I’m not sure if there will be an option to get it afloat or how we’re going to move it this time.”

Crews are limited in what can be done immediately other than informing the Coast Guard and monitoring to make sure there are no environmental impacts which Halvorsen says will be unlikely as there is no fuel or similar contaminants on the vessel.


Justin Hardy

About the Author: Justin Hardy

Justin Hardy is a reporter born and raised in the Northwest.
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