Kathryn Spirit

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  • Holmsund (1967–1997)
  • Menominee (1997–2006)
  • Kathryn Spirit (2006–2013)[1]
Builder: Lindholmens, Gothenburg, Sweden[2]
Yard number: 1101[2]
Launched: 26 May 1967[2]
Christened: Sigrid Mossberg[3]
Completed: 1967[2]
Out of service: 2011[2]
Identification:IMO number6717069
Fate: To be scrapped[2]
General characteristics
Length: 153.4 m (503 ft 3 in) loa
Beam: 20.2 m (66 ft 3 in)
Draught: 8.4 m (27 ft 7 in)
Depth: 11.2 m (36 ft 9 in)
Installed power: 8,000 bhp (6,000 kW)
Propulsion: 2 diesel engines, 1 screw
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)

The ship Kathryn Spirit was a 12,300 dwt open hatch bulk carrier built in 1967.[2] She was registered in Canada and previously owned by Swedish and Norwegian interests as Holmsund and Menominee.[1][4] In 2011 her intended demolition in Canada proved controversial and proposals were made for her to instead be broken up in Mexico. The intended Mexican contractor collapsed, and so she is instead currently being demolished in Canada.

Trading career[edit]

Kathryn Spirit was built as Swedish-flag Holmsund in 1967 by AB Lindholmens varv at Gothenburg, Sweden for SCA Transport, later SCA Transforest, the shipping arm of Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget. Holmsund and her two sister ships Tunadal and Munksund were open hatch bulk carriers, with their own gantry cranes, designed for SCA's pulp and forest products exports, in a new integrated transport system utilising the company's own terminals.[3][5] Holmsund was operated by SCA for some 26 years and then sold to Swedish shipowner Gorthon Lines.

In 1997 Holmsund was sold to a Norwegian operator for service between the Great Lakes and Europe, and renamed Menominee.[1][6] McKeil Marine Ltd of Hamilton, Ontario purchased Menominee in 2006, renaming her Kathryn Spirit and transferring her to Canadian registry.[1]

She was primarily used for the transport of bulk commodities on the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway. In 2007 Kathryn Spirit became the first ship to be used to ship wheat from the Port of Churchill to another Canadian domestic port, Halifax, Nova Scotia.[7]


In 2011, after a period of lay-up, Kathryn Spirit was sold to the Groupe St-Pierre for scrapping. The company decided that they would carry out the demolition at Beauharnois in the Greater Montreal Area, Quebec, on the shores of Lake Saint-Louis. The mayor of Beauharnois opposed the operation, even though it would take place in an area zoned for industry, due to fears about environmental pollution.[8] His concerns were shared by Member of Parliament Anne Minh-Thu Quach.[9][10]

In August 2012, in the face of continued opposition from the municipality, the Quebec Ministry of the Environment and environmental groups, the Groupe St-Pierre decided to withdraw from the demolition project and resold Kathryn Spirit to the Mexican company Recyclajes Ecológicos Marítimos.[11] The American-owned, Bolivian-flagged tug Craig Trans, built in 1944, was hired to tow her to Mexico, but was detained at Halifax by Transport Canada due to safety deficiencies and poor living conditions.[12] The tug's crew were later repatriated with charitable donations, and the tug arrested by creditors.[13]

By May 2013 there were further delays in the departure of Kathryn Spirit, due to water ingress, lack of survey for the voyage and other environmental concerns, and a fear that lower water levels might prevent her departure until 2014.[14] In January 2016 the condition of the ship, unmoved, had deteriorated to a serious extent, causing concern about potential pollution of the St. Lawrence River.[15][16] A committee made up of federal and provincial representatives suggested that the ship be broken up without moving the ship.[17]

In January 2018 work started in Beauharnois, and was ongoing on April 10, 2018 when the vessel caught fire and burned for several hours.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e "IMO 6717069". Miramar Ship Index (free registration). R B Haworth/Miramar. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Holmsund". Miramar Ship Index (free registration). Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "SCA Revolutionized the Transport Market" (PDF). New Ways. Sundsvall, Sweden: SCA Transforest (1): 13–15. March 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Registration". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  5. ^ Eakins, Norman (Sep–Oct 1998). "The Swedish Triplets" (PDF). The Lightship. Sarnia, Ontario: Huron Marine Society. XIX (5): 6. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Great Lakes European Shipping". Shipping International. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Churchill port makes 1st domestic grain shipment". CBC News Canada. CBC. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  8. ^ "Lac Saint-Louis – Beauharnois tente de bloquer le démantèlement d'un cargo". Radio Canada (in French). 23 September 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Major, Jean-Pierre (10 November 2011). "Épave du Kathryn Spirit à Beauharnois – Anne Quach presse Ottawa". Info-Suroit (in French). Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Beauharnois wary of pollution from ship dismantling". CTV News, Montreal. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Blackburn, Patricia (11 October 2012). "Le Kathryn Spirit est vendu". Le Soleil de Châteauguay (in French). Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Bolivian boat detained in Halifax due to poor conditions". CTV Atlantic News. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Stranded Central American tug crew heading home". CBS News. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Rochefort, Marie-Ève (17 May 2013). "Kathryn Spirit – Une année de plus à Beauharnois ?". Info-Suroit (in French). Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Kathryn Spirit: Political leaders call on federal government to remove abandoned ship". CBC News Montreal. 19 Jan 2016. Retrieved 19 Jan 2016. 
  16. ^ "Abandoned Kathryn Spirit ship must be stabilized before winter: experts". Global News. Retrieved 2018-02-25. 
  17. ^ "Abandoned cargo ship listing in Lac Saint-Louis prompts fears of spill". CBC News. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Fire breaks out at ship being dismantled". CTV News. 10 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.