Algoma Olympic
IMO 7432783

Upbound in the Welland Canal below Lock 2, Nov. 2014.
(Barry Andersen)


The Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carrier Canadian Olympic was built at a cost of $30 million by Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catherines, ON and was float-launched to the fit-out berth on May 24, 1976 for the Upper Lakes Group, Inc., Toronto, ON. She was named in recognition of the 1976 Olympic Games held in Montreal , QC. The Canadian Olympic is powered by two MAN 8-cylinder 5,000 horsepower diesel engines driving a controllable pitch propeller giving her a rated service speed of 13 knots and is equipped with a 1,000 horsepower bow thruster. Her 22 hatches feed into one large hold where she can carry 26,650 tons at maximum Seaway draft of 26 feet and is capable of carrying 35,859 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 30 feet 1 inch. Her self-unloading equipment consists of a single belt gravity system with a reclaiming machine feeding a stern-mounted loop belt elevator to a 250 foot discharge boom that can be swung 100 degrees to port or starboard and unload at a rate of up to 6,096 tons/hour. This loop belt unloading system was the most efficient system developed at the time as it reduced spillage in the tunnel while unloading.

ULGI reinvested over $2 million in the Canadian Olympic during the winter lay-up of 1999/2000 when its unloading tunnel and loop were completely overhauled and renewed. Included were the replacement of all 93 hydraulically operated unloading gates and the gate hoppers. Also, the hold belt and roller frames were removed with all steelwork being sandblasted and epoxy coated; the tunnel tanktop was completely reclad with 3/8" steel; new roller frames were installed with a third of the rollers being replaced; and the loop belt housing was sandblasted and epoxy coated.

The Canadian Olympic sailed under the management of the newly created Seaway Marine Transport of St. Catherines, ON. Seaway Marine Transport was formed by the merging of the former Seaway Self-Unloaders and Seaway Bulk Carriers and remains a partnership of Algoma Central and Upper Lakes Group. Coal is one of the Canadian Olympic's main cargoes delivering to various power generating stations along the Great Lakes. Other commodities such as taconite pellets, grain products, or salt could be carried.

On February 25, 2011, a formal statement was issued announcing the sale of the privately owned Upper Lakes Shipping fleet and their associated interest in Seaway Marine Transport to Algoma Central Corporation. Former Upper Lakes Chairman of the Board, company spokesman and owner John D. ("Jack") Leitch stated "It is with some regret and sadness that I tell you that we have decided to sell the vessels of Upper Lakes Shipping and our interest in Seaway Marine Transport to Algoma Central Corporation. A definitive agreement has been signed and the deal is anticipated to close in about a month. By the end of this season the proud logo on the funnels of Upper Lakes vessels will no longer be seen on the Great Lakes or along the St. Lawrence River." Jack further states "For 80 years we have been a part of the Canadian landscape and of the fabric of the Canadian economy." The Upper Lakes Shipping fleet will takes its place in modern Canadian Great Lakes history as having been a prominent player in the economic development of the regions served by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system. On April 15, 2011, Algoma announced that the Canadian Olympic will be renamed Algoma Olympic.

Algoma Olympic sailed until the end of the 2017 shipping season and was supposed to have laid up in Quebec City in preparation for scrapping. However she was forced to lay up at Hamilton instead due to heavy ice conditions in the Seaway. She sailed from Hamilton for Quebec City to unload the cargo she was unable to deliver due to ice, then proceeded to Montreal for her final layup in early April 2018. On arrival, her name was shortened to OMA in preparation for an overseas scrap tow. She left for Aliaga, Turkey, on May 9 under tow of the saltwater tug VB Hispania.


Written by George Wharton.



Ship Particulars
Length 730' 00" (222.51m)
Beam 75' 00" (22.86m)
Depth 46' 06" (14.17m)
Midsummer Draft 30' 01" (9.17m)
Unloading Boom Conveyor Length 250' (76.2m)
Capacity 35,859 tons
Engine Power 10,000 bhp diesel
Previous Names
Oma scrap tow
Algoma Olympic 2011 - 2018
Canadian Olympic 1976 - 2011

 


Rafted to the J. W. McGiffin for the winter in Sarnia, 1998.
(John Harris)

At Duluth with the anchor chain caught in propeller, July 12, 2000.
(Kent Rengo)

Ice escort from the Canadian Coast Guard ship Samuel Risley, January 1, 2001.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Stuck at the lower end of the Livingston Channel.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Clearing the stern.
(Neil Schultheiss)

USCG Mackinaw assists.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Stern view.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Stern view from the Risley's pilothouse.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Unloading at Zug Island, June 24, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Downbound in the Detroit River, July 9, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Aerial view underway in Lake Erie, Nov. 2002.
(Don Coles)

Loading coal in Sandusky, July 17, 2003.
(Don Coles)

Port Huron.
(Scott Tomlinson)

Stern view.
(Scott Tomlinson)

Detroit River stern view, Aug. 20, 2003.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view, Welland Canal, Sept. 2, 2003.
(Capt. Alain M. Gindroz)

Winter lay up in Port Colborne, April 7, 2006.
(Rob Wolcott)

Loading salt in Goderich, Feb. 23, 2008.
(Dale Baechler)

Departing Lock 7 upbound, Sept. 9, 2009.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Upbound in the Welland Canal at Port Robinson, Nov. 7, 2009.
(Bill Bird)

Getting work done at PWDD, Feb. 20, 2011.
(Al Howard)

Departing the MacArthur Lock upbound, June 24, 2011.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

 

Approaching Burlington Piers, April 20, 2012.
(Eric Holmes)

Stern view.
(Eric Holmes)

Stern view from the Algobay in the South Shore Canal near Montreal, Sept. 2, 2012.
(Kent Malo)

Tied up in Sarnia for the winter with the Peter R. Cresswell and Algosteel, Feb. 15, 2014.
(Matt Miner)

Closer view.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Upbound in the Welland Canal below Lock 2, Nov. 2014.
(Barry Andersen)

Clear of Lock 7 upbound on the Welland Canal, Sept. 15, 2017.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

VB Hispania leading the scrap tow near Vercheres, May 9, 2018.
(Rene Beauchamp)

Closer view of the Oma.
(Rene Beauchamp)

Stern view.
(Rene Beauchamp)

     

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