Earlier this morning, I had a trivia event to go to. If we had won this, I would not have been able to take pictures because we would have been in the finals. But we didn't, so I was waffling on whether I was going to go down to Detroit or not. Since I saw a ship on AIS that I haven't seen before, I decided to head down there.
Here she is rounding Belle Isle. I was actually hoping to catch her at the other end of Belle Isle but I dallied around too much. So the ship in question was the John B. Aird.
The John B. Aird was born in two parts. The stern was completed in 1982 in Collingwood, ON. Her namesake was the Lt. Governor of Ontario and a former Chairman of the Board of Algoma Central Railway. I guess that is one of the cool things about ships named after people, there is a little bit of history in the name.
The bow was completed in Thunder Bay, ON and the stern was towed there for completion of the ship. The completed vessel was christened June 3, 1983.
She is powered by two 4,7000 horsepower engines that give her a top rated speed of 13.8 mph.
She is also equipped with a 1,000 horsepower bow thruster. Her bow is also designed for working in the ice.
She is 730 feet long which means she can go through the Welland Canal (like most Canadian vessels). She is 75 feet wide and can carry 31,000 tons of cargo.
She opened and closed the Thunder Bay navigation season in 1985.
In 1990, she was caught in a fire fueled by coal dust which caused $500,000 worth of damage.
In 2002, she blew away from her mooring and crashed into the Canadian Olympic. Neither vessel was damged nor were there any injuries.
From 1993 until 2000, she sailed under Seaway Management.
I presume she is back under the Algoma umbrella now.
She has always been under the Algoma banner. Since the mid 90s all the Algoma vessels have been managed by Seaway Marine Transport, and still are.
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