CSL’s former Atlantic Erie, renamed Spirit of Shpongle, was towed out of Montreal on Friday morning by the deep-sea tug Pacific Hickory, bound for the scrapyards of Turkey. The 31-year old vessel hasn’t seen service since the 2015 shipping season. Atlantic Erie was built in 1984 as Hon. Paul Martin at Collingwood Shipyards in Ontario. She was given her current name in 1988. The ship saw service on both the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean along the Canadian/U.S. east coasts.
According to an article posted on Boatnerd, “Our ships are like family so the decision to retire one is never easy,” said Allister Paterson, President of Canada Steamship Lines. “But in a mature market like the Great Lakes, it’s the responsible thing to do. As technologically-superior ships enter the market, we need to recycle the older ships that market demand will no longer support.”
Atlantic Erie‘s scrap tow passes Tracy on Friday, November 4. Her stacks have been painted a solid black, and her former name has been painted out.
The temporary name Spirit of Shpongle was painted on the ship’s bow, and she was reflagged to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The lead towing tug Pacific Hickory was built in 1973, and has also carried the names Irving Miami, Atlantic Hickory, Pacifi, and Pacific H. (Three photos above courtesy of Captain Claude Marcil, Boatnerd.com)
Atlantic Erie as Hon. Paul Martin on her launch day, November 1, 1984. (Courtesy of Ron Beaupre, Boatnerd.com)
This photo, taken by Viktor Kaczkowski, shows Atlantic Erie in May 1988 while the ship was having work done on her boom in Vancouver.
Atlantic Erie laid up in Montreal for the winter of 2009-2010. (Courtesy of Dennis J. Dubinsky, Shipspotting.com)