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Downbound St. Marys River Sept. 4, 2009.

Roger LeLievre

-- Canadian Prospector --
(Carlton 1963 - 1975, Federal Wear 1975 - 1975, St, Lawrence Prospector 1975 - 1979)

by George Wharton

Launched as the Carlton (2) on October 17, 1963 for Chapman & Willan Ltd., Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; this ocean bulk freighter was built by Short Brothers Ltd., Sunderland, England as their hull # 542.  The Carlton was of riveted and welded construction built to Lloyd's '100A1' standards with her machinery aft and her 5 holds strengthened for heavy cargoes.  Her original overall dimensions were 562' (171.28m) length x 74' (22.56m) beam x 43' 02" (13.16m) depth with a 20,448 dwt (20,776 mt) capacity at a draft of 30' 06" (9.30m) and had a water ballast capacity of 7,729 tons (7,853 mt).

The bulker was powered by a 7,500 b.h.p. (5,517 kw) two stroke cycle, single acting, supercharged 6 cylinder Götaverken diesel engine (model 760/1500VGS6U) built by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Newcastle.  The engine burned high viscosity diesel fuel.  Power was directed to a single, fixed pitch propeller giving her a rated service speed of 16.1 m.p.h. 

The Carlton was lengthened with the addition of one new cargo hold in 1968 at Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  The vessel's new overall length became 642' (195.69m) and her 6 holds could now hold 25,106 (25,509 mt) dwt capacity at a new draft of 30' 09" (9.38m).  Water ballast capacity increased to 10,193 tons (10,357 mt).  Her fuel bunker capacity included 178 tons (181 mt) of diesel oil and 1,806 tons (1,835 mt) of high viscosity fuel.

The Carlton had been chartered to Federal Commerce and Navigation Ltd., Montreal, QC (Fednav) in the early 1970's and a series of ownership changes in 1974 and 1975 resulted in the Carlton being renamed Federal Wear in 1975.  Chapman & Willan was acquired by Burnett Steamship Co. Ltd., Newcastle who, in turn, was taken over by Fednav resulting in the name change.  The bulker then sailed under the management of Burnett Chapman Ship Management Ltd., a subsidiary of Fednav.  This arrangement was short-lived as the Federal Wear, after sailing only briefly under this name, was sold again in 1975 to Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd., a subsidiary of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., Toronto, ON resulting in another renaming to the St. Lawrence Prospector on June 30, 1975.  The vessel was reflagged Canadian with Toronto being her port of registry on April 4, 1975.  Her ownership was transferred to Leitch Transports Ltd., also a subsidiary of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., in 1976.

As the St. Lawrence Prospector, the bulker served the Great Lakes during the normal navigation season then ocean trading in the winter.  The vessel was a partial answer to a problem of not enough Canadian vessels for domestic and foreign Great Lakes trading at that time.  Domestically, the vessel was utilized to haul titanium ore up the St. Lawrence River from Havre St. Pierre, QC to Sorel, QC.  Foreign trading included soybeans from Toledo, OH and Port Cartier, QC to Norway in October and November 1975.  In April of 1976, the bulker pioneered a route from Vancouver, BC to Hamilton, ON with coal, testing the feasibility of such a route.  During this time, on October 1, 1977 the St. Lawrence Prospector was in collision with the salty Benfri in the Welland Canal below Bridge 10 causing only minor damage.

As foreign trade diminished and domestic traffic was on the increase, the decision was made to forego the vessel's ocean trading capability.  As a result, Saint John Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. Ltd., Saint John, NB was contracted to convert the St. Lawrence Prospector to a laker in 1978 - 1979 with the installation of the complete new forebody forward of the wheelhouse and accommodations thus modifying the vessel to her final dimensions (Saint John hull # 1125).  The conversion included the installation of a bow thruster.  She was christened March 31, 1979 as the Canadian Prospector. the name having no specific namesake intention.  The new hull gave the Canadian Prospector 16 hatches servicing 6 holds giving her a mid-summer capacity of 31,199 tons (31,700 mt) at a draft of 27'10.5" and a Seaway capacity of 26,938 tons (27,370 mt) at a draft of 26' 06" (8.08m).  Other capacities included 30,000 net tons (26,786 tons or 27,216 mt) of coal, 26,868 tons (27,300 mt) of wheat, 25,067 tons (25,470 mt) of corn or rye, 21,495 tons (21,840 mt) of barley or 18401 tons (18,697 mt) of oats, 178 tons (181 mt) of diesel oil, 1,806 tons (1,835 mt) of heavy fuel oil and 10,032 tons (10,193 mt) of water ballast.

Under her new configuration as a maximum Seaway size Great Lakes gearless bulk carrier, the Canadian Prospector began trading in 1979 for Upper Lakes Shipping making her maiden voyage upbound the Welland Canal on May 16, 1979.  The bulker's activities were focused on the grain/iron ore shuttle between various Great Lakes ports and ports along the St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, trade routes that remained essentially unchanged for 30 years. Her sailings were always subject to the fluctuations of the grain industry.  In the early 1990's, the Canadian Prospector with her gearless bulker fleetmates began sailing under the management of Seaway Bulk Carriers, Winnipeg, MB; a partnership arrangement between Upper Lakes Group and Algoma Central Corp. combining the bulker fleets of both companies.  At the beginning of the new century, the partnership became Seaway Marine Transport, St. Catharines, ON who now operate and manage both the Upper Lakes and Algoma fleets of bulkers and self-unloaders.

Of note, on April 8, 1980, the Canadian Prospector ran aground on Crossover Shoal while upbound the St. Lawrence River about 10 miles (16 kilometres) west of Brockville, ON.  Freed the next day and after temporary repairs were made, the vessel sailed on to Hamilton, ON where further inspection revealed more serious damage requiring dry-docking at Port Weller Dry Docks.  Another grounding April 16, 1981 on the St. Lawrence River near Varennes, QC also required dry-docking at Port Weller Dry Docks for repair.  Later that year, on September 6, the vessel grounded on the St. Lawrence River near Sillery, QC and was freed at high tide.  On July 9, 1994, the Canadian Prospector sustained severe rudder damage while backing away from the grain elevator at Toledo, OH.  The bulker remained at Toledo to make repairs.  A black-out was experienced off of Cap a la Roche, QC on the St. Lawrence River whereby the vessel touched a marker buoy causing no damage. 

On October 12, 2002 the Canadian Prospector was damaged in a head on collision with the heavy lift ship Stellanova in the South Shore Channel of the St. Lawrence Seaway near Montreal, QC.  The accident occurred as the Stellanova was upbound with petrochemical equipment for a Lake Michigan port and the Canadian Prospector was downbound with soybeans for Port Cartier, QC. The Stellanova had requested and the Canadian Prospector agreed to a starboard-to-starboard passing putting the Canadian Prospector on the north side and the Stellanova on the south side of the channel.  As the vessels approached each other, the Stellanova sheered to the center of the channel colliding with the Canadian Prospector.  Both vessels suffered severe damage, the Canadian Prospector receiving damage to her bow and was holed below the waterline. The large hole was caused by the bulbous bow of the Stellanova.  After temporary repairs were made, the Canadian Prospector proceeded to Port Weller Dry Docks, arriving October 23, 2002, where permanent repairs were completed.  Following repairs, the bulker sailed to Hamilton, ON, arriving December 11, 2002 for winter lay-up.  After a stay at the Pointe aux Trembles anchorage at Montreal, the Stellanova arrived at the Verreault Navigation at Les Mechins, QC on November 1 for repair.  Part of its cargo was unloaded for transfer to truck and rail for inland transit.  The remainder of the cargo was transferred to the heavy lift ship Jumbo Vision on November 20 for delivery after which the Stellanova was dry-docked for repair.

While wintering at the Pascol shipyard at Thunder Bay, ON on March 21, 2005, an explosion and fire rocked the ship as welders were attempting to fuse a plate to the side of the vessel.  The resulting heat caused an explosion in the fuel tank blowing off a metal tank cap the size of a man-hole cover.  A 'ball of flame' came out of the hole about 30+ feet (10 meters) high.  There were no injuries and only minor damage was experienced by the laker delaying departure to load at the grain elevators by only a couple of days.  On November 30, 2007, the Canadian Prospector struck and damaged the St. Lawrence Seaway lock at Cote Ste-Catherine, QC.  The bulker only received superficial damage and after an inspection, proceeded on to its destination port of Hamilton, ON.

The Canadian Prospector saw continued service under the Seaway Marine Transport banner through the 2009 navigation season when on December 29, 2009 the vessel entered winter lay-up in Montreal, QC at Sec. 56.  This pier is often used by ships that have reached the end of their careers and are often headed for scrapping.  After being struck from Canadian registry on September 14, 2010, on October 1, 2010 the Canadian Prospector was towed from port headed for scrapping in Aliaga, Turkey with the ocean tug Simoon (owned by ITC, Heemstede, Netherlands) on the bow that would pull the Prospector on the tow lasting 30 or more days.  Nadro Marine tug Vigilant 1 was the steering tug on the stern for that portion of the tow through the St. Lawrence River.  The Canadian Prospector was the second of three veteran Seaway Marine vessels to leave Montreal for the Aliaga scrap yard in the fall of 2010, the others being the Agawa Canyon and the Algoisle.  The tow arrived at Aliaga on November 3, 2010 with the Canadian Prospector being beached the same day.

Overall Dimensions (metric)
 Length  730' 00" (222.50m)
 Beam  75' 10" (23.13m)
 Depth  40' 06" (12.35m(
 Capacity (mid-summer)  31,199 tons (31,700 mt)
 at draft of 27' 10.5" (8.97m)
 Capacity (Seaway draft)  26,938 tons (27,370 mt)
 at draft of 26' 06" (8.08m)
 Power (diesel)  7,500 b.h.p.

Scrap tow and scrapping of the
Canadian Prospector
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Scrapping continues, Dec. 8, 2010. Selim San
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Another view. Selim San
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Arriving at Aliaga, Turkey Nov. 3, 2010.
Selim San
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Close up. Selim San
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Beached Nov. 3, 2010.
Selim San
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Scrap tow on the St. Lawrence River with the
ocean tug Simoon, Oct. 1, 2010. Michel St-Denis
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Another view. Michel St-Denis
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Ocean tug Simoon. Michel St-Denis
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Bow with name painted out and white water level line for the tow. Michel St-Denis
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Stern view with steering tug Vigilant I.
Michel St-Denis
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The tow downbound the St. Lawrence River.
Michel St-Denis

Upbound the St. Clair River at Port Huron, MI,
Nov. 6, 2009. Roger LeLievre
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Downbound from Welland Canal's Lock 2,
Dec. 22, 2009. John McCreery
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Stack markings painted over at Montreal, QC,
Aug. 31, 2010. Kent Malo

St. Lawrence Seaway, Oct. 11, 2009.
Roger LeLievre

Another view. Roger LeLievre

Unloading at Quebec City, Oct.13, 2009.
Roger LeLievre

St. Marys River, Sept. 4, 2009.
Roger LeLievre
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Downbound lower Lake Huron followed by the
CSL Laurentien & John D. Leitch, Sept. 23, 2009.
Marc Dease
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Another view. Marc Dease

St. Marys River, Aug. 19, 2009.
Roger LeLievre
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Upbound the Welland Canal, Aug. 30, 2009.
Eric Holmes
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Stern view. Eric Holmes
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Entering the St. Clair River at Point Edward, ON,
Aug. 4, 2009. Marc Dease

Upbound the St. Clair River, Aug. 20, 2009.
Nathan NNietering

Wheelhouse & stack. Nathan Nietering
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Upbound Detroit River, July 30, 2009.
Mike Nicholls
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Stern view. Mike Nicholls
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St. Lawrence River bound for Baie Comeau, QC,
Aug. 6, 2009. Ron Beaupre

Downbound St. Lawrence River at Brockville, ON,
May 29, 2009. Dave Bessant
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Stern view. Dave Bessant
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Meeting the upbound Canadian Transport in
the Welland Canal, July 3, 2009. Paul Beesley
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Downbound the St. Marys River, May 9, 2009.
Lee Rowe
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Stern view meeting the upbound Perelik.
Lee Rowe
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Upbound the St. Marys River at the Soo,
May 23, 2009. Roger LeLievre
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Winter lay-up at Montreal, QC,
Feb. 17, 2009. Kent Malo
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Upbound the Welland Canal approaching
Port Robinson, ON, May 2, 2009. Bill Bird
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Stern view. Bill Bird

Emerging from the Port Weller dry-docks,
Apr. 12, 2008. Michel Gosselin

Close up. Michel Gosselin 

Lower Lake Huron, Apr. 20, 2008.
Marc Dease

Downbound Lake St. Clair, Sept. 28, 2007.
Alex & Max Mager

Stern view. Alex & Max Mager

Downbound St. Marys River at the Soo,
Dec. 10, 2007. Herm Klein

Lower Lake Huron at Point Edward, ON,
Sept. 10, 2007. Marc Dease

Upbound the Detroit River at Grassy Island,
Sept. 13, 2004. Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Loading iron ore at Escanaba, MI, July 25, 2004.
Scott Best

Dock view loading at Escanaba, MI.
Scott Best

Finishing loading with the Joseph L. Block waiting.
Scott Best

Unloading at St. Lawrence Cement, Duluth, MN,
Apr. 20, 2004. Al Miller

Loading at Zug Island along the Detroit River,
May 20, 2004. Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls
Collision with "saltie" Stella Nova,
October 12, 2002.

At Cote Ste. Catherine wharf shortly after collision.
Kent Malo

Close up. Kent Malo

Waterline. Kent Malo

Arriving at the Welland Canal bound for Port Weller Dry Dock, Oct. 23, 2002. Paul Beesley

Bow view below Lock 1. Paul Beesley

Close up. Paul Beesley

Dry-docked, Nov. 10, 2002. Jeff Thoreson

Another view. Jeff Thoreson

Damaged bow of the heavy lift vessel Stellanova at sec M3 Montreal harbor.
Kent Malo

Close up. Kent Malo

Anchored, Montreal. Marc Piché

Carlton between 1968 & 1975.
Location & photographer unknown.

St. Lawrence Prospector on the St. Marys River between 1975 & 1979.
Roger LeLievre

Toledo, OH early 1990's.
Rudi Rabe

Port Huron. Rod Burdick

Upbound St. Clair River at Point Edward, ON
Apr. 29, 2000. George Wharton

Bow view. George Wharton

Stern view. George Wharton

Downbound St. Lawrence River near the
Iroquois Lock, May 9, 2000. Peter Carter

Loading at Thunder Bay, ON, Apr. 2, 2001.
Rob Farrow

Upbound Detroit River, Apr. 3, 2001.
N. Schultheiss

Upbound the Detroit River, July 11, 2001.
Mike Nicholls

Winter lay-up at Hamilton, ON, Feb. 23, 2002.
George Wharton

Loading at Thunder Bay, ON, Oct. 6, 2002.
Rob Farrow

Inbound Maumee River for Toledo, OH,
May 5, 2002. Mike Nicholls

Another view. Mike Nicholls

Passing through the CSX Bridge at Toledo.
Mike Nicholls

Bow view from the tug. Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Downbound the Welland Canal, Oct. 11, 2002.
Paul Beesley

Stern view. Paul Beesley

Upbound the St. Marys River, Aug. 14, 2003.
Roger LeLievre

Stern view. Roger LeLievre

Detroit River, Sept. 7, 2003. Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Detroit River, Oct. 20, 2003. Mike Nicholls

Another view. Mike Nicholls

Welland Canal, Dec. 2, 2003. Bill Bird

Docking at Port Colborne, ON for the winter,
Dec. 26, 2003. Alex Howard

Stern view. Alex Howard

Detail. Alex Howard

Securing the line. Alex Howard

Port Colborne, ON winter lay-up, Mar. 28, 2004.
Alex Howard

Welland Canal.

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