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Tugboat stuck near Fort Providence due to low water levels

The MV Vic Ingraham stuck in the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence. Photo: Linda Croft


A Marine Transportation Services vessel has been stuck in the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence since Saturday due to low water levels.

The Department of Infrastructure told Cabin Radio the MV Vic Ingraham’s crew called for assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Eckaloo after their vessel became stuck.

The Canadian Coast Guard, however, “experienced its own operational challenges in the same area” and was unable to help.

Marine Transportation Services, or MTS, is now sending additional staff to Hay River to operate the Edgar Kotokak pusher tug, the department said. The plan is for that vessel to tow the Vic Ingraham out of the area where it is stuck so it can sail back to Hay River. That is expected to take place later this week.



Once the vessel arrives back in Hay River, the department said it will stay there until the 2024 sailing season as it undergoes maintenance work.

The territory previously said the MV Vic Ingraham sliced its hull on an object while returning to Hay River with empty barges in a marked channel.

The NWT government said on Friday the final resupply barges destined for Norman Wells and Tulita this summer have been cancelled because of “historically low” water on the Mackenzie River.

MTS is now “making alternate plans” to get cargo to the two Sahtu communities.

Correction: September 11, 2023 – 22:12 MT. This article has been updated to clarify that a tugboat rather than a barge had become stuck in the Mackenzie River.