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Ship dismantling operation in Newfoundland taps into town's ironworking history

The Canadian Press
Ship dismantling operation in Newfoundland taps into town's ironworking history

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Andrew Wakeham says it’s fascinating to watch the careful dismantling of a stranded 30-metre steel fishing vessel in the Newfoundland town of Colliers.

But Wakeham says what’s most interesting is to see the droves of ironworkers who show up each day to observe the operation by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Colliers is home to generations of ironworkers and Wakeham, a senior response officer with the coast guard, says the daily onlookers often ask smart, technical questions about the mission to take apart the rusted Hamilton Banker vessel.

Town councillor Glen McDonald says many in Colliers are descendants of ironworkers who worked on buildings in Philadelphia, Boston and New York City.

McDonald said in an interview the dismantling of the Norwegian-built vessel has been the biggest thing to happen in Colliers in a while.

The Hamilton Banker had been moored in Colliers since it sank in Conception Bay in 2006, but a massive snowstorm in January 2020 knocked the vessel free and slammed it onto a nearby shore.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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