13 November 2015

Great Lakes workhorse shipper arrives in Turkey for decommission:

Birchglen passed down the Welland Canal for the final time at the end of the 2014 navigation season. It tied up at Montreal, after delivering its final cargo, and was retired by Canada Steamship Lines.

The ship originally served the Misener fleet as Canada Marquis. It was built at Govan, Scotland, and left there for the Great Lakes on July 11, 1983. The 222.5 metre long bulk carrier was one of three sisterships built to handle a good payload on both Great Lakes and deep sea routes.

During the winter months, Canada Marquis kept busy trading on saltwater and visited Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Russia and England to either load or unload. Then, as the warm weather returned, Canada Marquis came back through the Seaway and resumed inland service.

The ship was sold to Fednav of Montreal in 1991 and was initially named Federal Richelieu. Another sale and charter back to Fednav that year resulted in a rename of Federal Mackenzie and both traded through the Welland Canal.

The name was shortened to Mackenzie in 2001 and it was back through the Welland Canal as such in June carrying steel to Burns Harbor, Indiana. The ship joined Canada Steamship Lines late in 2002 and was renamed Birchglen for the start of the 2003 season.

As Canada Marquis, this ship was rammed from behind when ice halted forward progress in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on March 17, 1990. Then, as Fedeal Mackenzie, the vessel ran aground near Contrecoeur, Quebec, on July 14, 1993. As Birchglen, the ship made news in July 2010, carrying a record cargo of windmill components into the Great Lakes.

Following a sale to shipbreakers in Turkey, Birchglen departed Montreal under its own power on Sept. 25, 2015. It arrived off Aliaga in Oct. 14 and is shown, waiting to be beached for demolition on Oct. 21, in a photo by Selim San.

Source: Niagara this week. 28 October 2015

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