With more powerful and more modern tugs (such as Océan Tundra, at right),big single screw tugs like Océan Delta (second from left) are becoming obsolete.
Also pictured: Océan Charlie at left, and Océan Yvan Desgagnés, second from right.
Dating from 1973 when it was built by Ulstein Mek. Verksted AS in Ulsteinvik, Norway as Sistella. One of a three of similar tugs for International Transport Contractors (ITC), Tschudi and Eitzen, managers. They were ocean salvage tugs intended also for long tows associated with the oil industry. Fitted with two 16 cylinder Polar engines geared to a single controllable pitch screw, they were rated at 7,000 bhp and 65 tonne bollard pull.
Renamed Sandy Cape in 1978 and transferred to Liberian flag, by the same Norwegian/Dutch owners, it worked word wide until 1980 when it was acquired by the Power Corporation of Canada and assigned through the CSL Group to their Quebec Tugs Ltd (QUETUG) subsidiary.
It was renamed Capt. Ioannis S. for Captain Ioannis "John" Stylidiadis operator of the Quebec City tug fleet once under the direction of the Davie Shipyards. They fleet had always been involved in salvage work but this was the first big tug they had owned for many years.
Capt. Ioaanis S in QUETUG colours.
In 1999 Océan renamed the tug Océan Delta as part of a naming scheme that has reached "Lima" in the international signals alphabet, but has since been displaced by a new scheme recognizing individuals.
Over the years Océan has invested a lot of money in this tug with at least one major rebuild and in 2000 re-engining the vessel with a pair of 8 cylinder MaKs giving 6464 bhp.
Océan Delta in a previous GO colour scheme.
Undergoing a "shave and a haircut" at Ile-aux-Coudres, in 2005, its rudder and prop were removed for repair.
Back for more ten years later - this time with rudder and prop intact.
With both Océan Hercule and Océan Delta sold to the same Jamaican owners it is possible that one will be towing the other. Let us hope this is not a repeat of another unwise late season tow out from the St.Lawrence. Too many of these have gone wrong recently to allow another foolhardy or unprepared attempt.
Océan Hercule has also been sold to the same Jamaican buyers and has been renamed Hercule.
Meanwhile there have been some interesting deployments in the Océan fleet. The former pilot boat, converted to tug, Océan Côte-Nord, which was stationed in Goderich, ON has left that port, returning down through the St.Lawrence Seaway to Quebec. Whether this is to accommodate a winter refit or an end to the Lake Huron service has not been revealed.
Océan's recent acquisition of the two Port-Cartier tugs from ArcelorMittal Steel has resulted in two renamings. Brochu has been renamed Océan Brochu and Vachon is now Océan A. Gauthier.
It was upbound in the Seaway on December 6 for its new home port of Hamilton, ON. There it joins another Voith-Schneider tug Océan A. Simard transferred this fall after working in Bull Arm, NL for a few years. The latter has also been doing ship assist at the entrance to the nearby Welland Canal.