Watership down: Consultancy to assess risks of wrecks in Canada's waterways

24 January 2019 Consulting.ca 3 min. read

Marine and engineering consultancy London Offshore Consultants has won a half-million dollar federal contract to assess the risks of abandoned vessels in Canada’s waterways and coasts. The consultancy’s Dartmouth, NS office will partner with Toronto engineering and environmental advisory firm Dillon Consulting – which has depth of expertise in risk assessment and methodology development.

There are apparently hundreds of wrecked, abandoned, or dilapidated boats and ships in Canadian waters or on Crown land that are ‘vessels of concern’ to the Canadian Government.

Aside from potential hazard they pose to those navigating waterways, wrecked ships can also be a problem for marine ecosystems, with toxic and foreign materials potentially damaging the environment.

To get a better grasp of the specific risks pertaining to shipwrecks, the federal government has awarded a contract to London Offshore Consultants (LOC) to develop a risk assessment methodology on vessels of concern. The methodology will help the Canadian Coast Guard assess the level of risk the vessels pose to the environment, the economy, and public safety. It is slated to be delivered in summer of this year.

Watership down: Consultancy to assess risks of wrecks in Canada's waterways

The contract, worth $551,554.95, will be handled by the Dartmouth, NS office of the London-based marine and engineering consultancy. Founded in 1979, LOC provides marine and engineering advisory services. The firm also offers services in the areas of claims, disputes, and litigations; surveys, inspections and audits; and marine casualties. The firm has over two dozen strategically located offices spread across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.

The half-million dollar contract is part of the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan which aims to protect the country’s coasts and waterways. LOC’s risk methodology will help the federal government improve marine ecosystem protection and rehabilitation.

“This contract award further enhances the Canadian Coast Guard’s ability to assess the risks posed by wrecked or abandoned vessels in our waterways and to help prioritize our operations,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “This is another example of an investment under the Oceans Protection Plan that will help keep our waters cleaner, healthier, and safer for generations to come.”

LOC will partner with to Dillon Consulting to fulfill the government contract. Founded in 1946, the Toronto-based firm provides engineering, planning and design, and environmental sciences consulting services. It has 18 offices across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver. Dillon Consulting will help “develop the risk assessment framework, program the risk assessment tool, and lead public engagement throughout Canada,” according to a release from the Toronto firm.

“Folks here in Dartmouth have a keen appreciation and understanding of the important role Canada's waterways play in communities like ours,” commented Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth–Cole Harbour. “I'm proud of Dartmouth's London Offshore Consultants’ work to protect our nation’s waterways.”

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