English River
IMO 5104382

Outside Port Weller Piers bound for the Canal, July 26, 2015.
(Jeff Cameron)


Initially constructed as a Seaway shuttle package freighter; this smaller sized motor vessel was built by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., Collingwood, ON as hull #171. With the keel being laid March 20th, 1961; the vessel was launched September 8th, 1961 as the English River for owners Canadian General Electric Co. Ltd., Montreal, QC and immediately bareboat chartered to Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal who also acted as the vessel's managers. The package freighter was named after a small community and river in northern Ontario. The English River entered service on October 19th, 1961 and had a designed capacity of 5,200 tons (5,284 tonnes) in a port and starboard hold. The vessel is powered by a single Dutch-built Werkspoor model TMAB-390 8 cylinder 1,850 b.h.p. diesel engine burning marine diesel oil driving a single controllable pitch propeller giving the vessel a rated service speed of 13.8 m.p.h.

The English River spent her early years in the freight trading business she was designed for. Primary routes were between Lake Ontario ports and company terminals along the St. Lawrence River. Cargoes included palletized freight and the odd deck load of vehicles. Canada Steamship Lines assumed direct ownership of the motor vessel in 1963. With better highways and increased competition from the trucking industry; demand for package freighters such as the English River decreased.

Canada Steamship Lines sent the English River to the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co., Port Arthur, ON (now Thunder Bay) for conversion to a self unloading bulk cement carrier in 1973. The conversion took place over the summer. The conversion included the installation of sloping cargo hold slides with drag line scrappers to move the cement to stern mounted bucket elevators to lift the cargo to a hopper for discharging to shore by air slide equipment. With this conversion, the English River could now carry 7,450 tons (7,570 tonnes) of cement and her mid summer draft of 22' 07" (6.88m). The newly converted cement carrier returned to service late in 1973 under charter to Canada Cement Lafarge. At this time, title of the vessel was passed to Laurentide Financial Corp. Ltd., Vancouver, BC with CSL acting as managers.

In 1992, Canada Cement Lafarge took ownership of the vessel. The English River's current registry shows Lafarge Canada Inc., Montreal, QC as the official owners with Canada Steamship Lines remaining as managers. The vessel's trade routes are predominately focused on the lower lakes; loading at Bath, ON for ports such as Toronto, Whitefish, and Hamilton, ON; Oswego and Buffalo, NY. Other ports of call could include Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; and Port Stanley, ON.

English River was a safe vessel; the only recorded incident occurred in Cleveland in the spring of 1996. She got caught crosswise in the current of the Cuyahoga River and backed down into a cement/steel dock causing some damage to the vessel and dock. The vessel was often honored by being the first vessel of the season into several lower lake ports.

In 2017 and early 2018, English River was managed by the Algoma Central Corp. for Lafarge Canada. In 2017 it was announced that the vessel would be replaced on her cement runs by a newer ship. Accordingly, English River made her last trip to Cleveland July 20, 2018, discharging her cargo at the Lafarge plant. She arrived under her own power at Port Colborne, Ont., on July 21 and on July 24 she was moved into the International Marine Salvage yard alongside another retired cement carrier, Paul H. Townsend, also awaiting the torch.

English River's cement runs were immediately taken over by NACC Argonaut, a converted saltwater vessel owned by NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers and a joint venture of Algoma Central Corporation and Nova Marine Holding SA.


Written by George Wharton.



Ship Particulars
Length 404' 03" (123.22m)
Beam 60' 00" (18.29m)
Depth 36' 06" (11.13m)
Midsummer Draft 22' 07" (6.88m)
Capacity 7,450 tons (7.570 tonnes)
Engine Power 1,850 bhp diesel

 


English River 1961 - 1973
(Canada Steamship Lines)

Launch day at Collingwood Shipyards, Sept. 8, 1961.
(Don Boone)

Above Mission Pt.
(Peter Worden collection)

Turning in Soo Harbor.
(Peter Worden collection)

   
English River 1973 - 1992
(Canada Steamship Lines)

English River spec sheet, 1975.
(unknown)

Upbound in the Welland Canal near Port Colborne.
(Peter Worden collection)

Upbound in the Welland Ship Canal, Sept. 13, 1991.
(Tom Stewart)

   
English River 1992 - 2018
(Lafarge Canada Inc.)

Clearing Glendale Bridge downbound, Oct. 1992.
(Matt Miner collection)

Stern view. Note the Lafarge logo on the stack.
(Matt Miner collection)

In the Heddle drydock, Hamilton, 1998.
(unknown)

View of the rudder.
(unknown)

In Lock 7 on the Welland Canal.
(Rod Burdick)

Clear of Lock 7 on the Welland Canal, April 7, 2000.
(George Wharton)

Unloading in Buffalo, Summer 2000.
(Brian Wroblewski)

Closer view.
(Brian Wroblewski)

On deck.
(Brian Wroblewski)

Arriving Cleveland, Aug. 23, 2000.
(TZ)

G-tug Delaware assisting.
(TZ)

Departing Cleveland, Sept. 15, 2000.
(TZ)

Backing from Cleveland, Nov. 12, 2000.
(TZ)

Sunset off Cleveland.
(TZ)

Stern view.
(TZ)

Unloading in Cleveland, Dec. 7, 2000.
(TZ)

Tied up for the winter in Toronto, Jan. 12, 2001
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view on the Detroit River, May 30, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Eveing light on Welland Canal, 2001.
(Mike Olson)

Unloading in Buffalo, Nov. 18, 2001.
(Jeff Thoreson)

Unloading at Lafarge in Cleveland, Aug. 4, 2004.
(Mike Nicholls)

Clear of Lock 1 on the Welland Canal, July 29, 2008.
(Bill Bird)

Outside Port Weller Piers, Oct. 5, 2008.
(David Bull)

Entering Lock 2 on the Welland Canal, Nov. 29, 2009.
(John McCreery)

Coming through Port Weller Piers, Sept. 18, 2011.
(Matt Miner)

Close up of the aft cabins and unloading gear.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Entering Lock 3, Sept. 18, 2011.
(Matt Miner)

Almost all the way in the lock.
(Matt Miner)

Outside Port Weller Piers bound for the Canal, July 26, 2015.
(Jeff Cameron)

Upbound at Homer Bridge on the Welland Canal, July 23, 2016.
(Bill Bird)

Stern view.
(Bill Bird)

Upbound above Lock 1 with her last load of her career bound for Cleveland, July 18, 2018.
(Barry Andersen)

Stern view.
(Barry Andersen)

 
English River 2018 - Today
(Marine Recycling Corp.)

Tied for the last time in Port Colborne. Done with the engines, July 22, 2018.
(Barry Andersen)

Tied up next to the Paul H. Townsend waiting for the torch, Sept. 15, 2018.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view of the pair.
(Matt Miner)

View of the scrapyard fleet. English River, Paul H. Townsend, Camille Marcoux, Algorail and Algoway, Sept. 15, 2018.
(Matt Miner)

 

 


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