(GSL Eleni/Greater Victoria Harbour Authority)

Almost exactly one-year after the SM Busan was stuck in Victoria, another container ship, the GSL Eleni, was brought to Ogden Point in Victoria to undergo mechanical repairs.

The Liberian registered ship is about 300 metres long and is stacked high with shipping containers and ‘sea-cans’.

The GSL Eleni was bound for South Carolina from Vancouver by way of the Panama Canal, according to Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA).

While the vessel was en route, it experienced mechanical failure in its rudder just off the coast of Tofino.

“It was stuck in what’s called ‘port position,’” Robertson told Victoria Buzz. “So it was unable to maneuver.”

“[The ship] is positioned stern into the dock at Ogden Point, so you can see that the rudder is stuck to the port.”

It was being monitored for some time by a rescue tug boat and eventually more tugs were called out and the ship was brought into port in Victoria. 

The GVHA received the call of the freight ship’s trek to port on December 30th and it arrived on January 1st, meaning the journey took over 48 hours.

“It was able to come in safely and we’re a port and we’re more than just a cruise terminal,” said Robertson.

“I think this demonstrates the diversity of our port and we’re only too happy to support any type of repairs that need to be done.”

While the GVHA said they are always happy to accommodate repairs, Robertson did say that during the thick of cruise season in Victoria, the ship likely would have had to go elsewhere to find repairs because Ogden Point is just too busy during that time. 

“Reports tell me that it’s going to be there for a week,” Robertson said to Victoria Buzz when asked how long the GSL Eleni would be in port. 

“It could be longer, but fortunately we don’t have any upcoming plans for that side of the pier and so we’re able to accommodate it as long as it needs to stay here to get its repairs done.”

Robertson told Victoria Buzz that the GVHA has a full manifest of the ship’s contents and he wants to assure Victorians that there are no dangerous materials on board that would be of any risk to the public.

The GVHA welcomes locals and tourists alike to come and feast their eyes on the magnitude of size of the GSL Eleni while it is still here. It isn’t that often a ship of this size is in port at Ogden Point during the winter months. 

Almost a year ago to date, Ogden Point hosted another similar vessel, the SM Busan out of South Korea. 

On January 2nd, 2022, the SM Busan came to port for repairs as well. It was stacked much higher with cargo though and residents from all over Greater Victoria flocked to the Breakwater to see the ship eclipse the skyline. 


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