Thursday, December 31, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An update on the Sophia Z, the Chamber of Commerce looks for excellence and New years Day is a good day for a run and a dip, some of the items of note for the Wednesday news cycle.

Daily News, front page, headline story
FIXING THE PROPELLER - THE STATUS OF THE SOPHIA Z-- The vessel has been tied up alongside the Northland Cruise Ship Terminal dock since the wind storm of earlier this month, the Daily News offers up an update on the progress of repairs to the Sophia Z.

The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce is seeking out nominations once again as they prepare to honour those businesses and personalities who have achieved Business excellence in our community. The Deadline for nominations is January 8th at 5pm, the winners of Awards this year will be feted at a gala celebration on February 27, 2009 at the North Coast Meeting and Convention Centre (which we assume is the gathering hall at Chances).

Prince Rupert's annual New Year tradition the polar bear swim is set for Friday, the annual gathering of the very hearty (or perhaps very foolish) will take place at Rushbrook Floats at 1pm, the truly inspired can also partake in a New Years Day run along the waterfront hosted by the Rupert Runners, start time for that event is at noon at the foot of George Hills Way.

The Sports section features a review of the Blue Knuckle Derby as well as continuing on with the review of sports for 2009

(Archive for Daily News Articles for December 30, 2009 )

The Northern View
No items posted for December 30th on the Northern View website

No items posted for December 30th on the CFTK website

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
Daybreak is on Christmas break, a notice on their website advises that no new items are to be posted to their Daybreak site until January 4, 2010

Daily News, front page, headline story
Fixing the propeller — the status of Sophia Z
Grain Ship should be ready for sea by first week in January
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Thursday December 30, 2009

After going aground briefly near Prince Rupert Grain on Dec. 18, the grain vessel Sophia Z has been at berth at Northland Dock in Prince Rupert since Dec. 20 for repairs to its propeller and on the inside both mid-ship and back in the engine area.

Richard Snow, diving supervisor with All-Seas Enterprises Ltd. out of North Vancouver — the company in charge of the repairs — said Tuesday afternoon the propeller has been fixed and the rest of the repairs should be completed by the first week in January.

“One blade of the propeller had a significant bend and the others had a couple of impact damages we had to cut out so there would be no mass imbalances. If we didn’t adjust the blades that could cause major vibration and could damage bearings and machinery,” Snow explained.

The repair job to the propeller involved two divers and a full day, and was all conducted underwater. Using a special tool, of which there are only five in the world, the divers were able to straighten out the bent propeller.

“It’s a very exclusive process and the tool we use was specially designed for us and our sister company, Subsea Solutions Alliance. We don’t let anyone see it and while it was here we had a big cover over the area where the divers were working so the crane operator couldn’t even see it,” said Snow, adding that there are only five copies of the tool in the world.

All-Seas owns three and its sister company owns the other two. The companies worked with a designer approximately seven years ago to come up with a prototype.
For the next stage in the repairs, workers will be putting sealed boxes outside the ship so that there is no water directly against the hull so that welding repairs can be done on the inside of the vessel.

The boxes will insulate the ocean side so the welds can be done properly and ultrasonic testing conducted afterwards, Snow noted.

As reported initially on Dec. 21 by the Daily News, there was no fuel leaking from the vessel or water getting in after it ran aground, but there had been some internal structure damage determined at that time that needed to be repaired.
Pointing to the ship Snow explained that its draft is at 3.6 m, which has made it easier to repair. Normally, he added, ships draft typically at 7.4 m.

Throughout the repair project Snow’s company has received help locally from Wainwright Marine Service, Certified Welding & Machining and Adams Diving and Marine Services Ltd.

“We’ve had lots of local support and been lucky to have so many skilled people in town,” Snow commented.

The Sophia Z, a 190 metre, 57,000 tonne bulk vessel with a crew of 21, is newly built and on its maiden voyage, having departed from China and scheduled to depart to Bangladesh.

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