Incident involving a tugboat in the St. Lawrence River
As part of the new Champlain Bridge Corridor Project, an incident involving a tugboat occurred in the late afternoon on Friday, April 1, 2016 in the St. Lawrence River, 300 meters from the West jetty on Île-des-Soeurs.
Our marine excavation work involves a barge that is stabilized by three tugs, a large one and two smaller ones. During a manoeuvre to bring the barge back to the West jetty, an incident occurred. One of the smaller tugs capsized and then sank to the bottom of the river.
The health and safety of our employees are priorities for us. Both members of the crew safely evacuated the vessel in an orderly fashion and crossed over to the larger tug which was right next to them. There were no injuries.
As per the Safety Code for the construction industry, the workers were wearing specialized flotation equipment and have been trained to work over water. A marine rescue unit also patrols the sector at all times on the river.
An internal investigation is underway to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, and an independent investigator will review it. We are also cooperating fully with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and our insurer to determine the causes of the incident.
In the meantime, we have reviewed our work methods to ensure a similar incident does not recur.
The plan to salvage the vessel has not yet been finalized and will be reviewed by the relevant authorities, in particular the Canadian Coast Guard.
All the stakeholders connected to this situation are being kept informed as the event unfolds.