The MV Vic Ingraham stuck in the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence. Photo: Linda Croft
The MV Vic Ingraham tugboat has been freed after spending days stranded by low water on the Mackenzie River outside Fort Providence.
The Vic Ingraham initially called for assistance from Canadian Coast Guard vessel Eckaloo on Saturday last week after becoming stuck, but Eckaloo “experienced its own operational challenges in the same area” and was unable to help.
Marine Transportation Services said at the time it was sending additional staff to Hay River to operate the MV Edgar Kotokak pusher tug and attempt to liberate the Vic Ingraham.
The Edger Kotokak arrived on Tuesday and was able to free the Vic Ingraham the following day, the NWT’s Department of Infrastructure confirmed by email on Friday.
“The process to free the Vic Ingraham took approximately 12 hours,” the department stated. “The vessel is now sailing back to MTS’s main terminal in Hay River and is expected to arrive there this weekend.”
Using the Edgar Kotokak to free the Vic Ingraham was complicated by the evacuation order that remains in place for Hay River.
“Crew required for the Edgar Kotokak were not in the community at the time and had to be brought back,” the department stated.
“Some of the crew members were in Inuvik and were flown to Yellowknife and then drove back to Hay River to work on the vessel. Others drove to Hay River, from evacuation centres they were staying at in Alberta, to crew on the Edgar Kotokak and support the efforts to free the Vic Ingraham.
“MTS appreciates the commitment its crew showed under challenging circumstances to support this effort and get the Vic Ingraham back to Hay River.”
The Mackenzie River has experienced unusually low water this summer, in keeping with some other areas of the NWT.