Until recently, Captain John’s Restaurant was an iconic Toronto waterfront landmark visited by hundreds of thousands over the course of the last 40 years. The floating restaurant vessel, MS Jadran, built in 1957, had been moored in the harbour since 1975, having been used as a reception hall to host weddings and parties, with guests including many celebrities, in addition to operating as a restaurant. In more recent years, the business struggled and the owner fell behind in rent and property tax payments. Ultimately, the vessel was sold and Toronto Port Authority rescinded the lease. On May 28, she was towed to Port Colborne to be scrapped at Marine Recycling Corp.
Nadro Marine, part of the McKeil group of companies, managed her tow from Toronto Harbour to Port Colborne, which entailed months of planning and consultation with Marine Recycling Corporation in Port Colborne. Nadro has considerable experience in executing dead ship tows, with other notable high profile tows including HMCS Haida, the retired submarine Ojibwa and American Fortitude, which was towed from Oswego, NY to Port Colborne just two weeks before the Captain John’s tow.
Nadro’s General Manager, Jamie Nadrofsky, notes the close quarters in the Welland Canal locks and harbour. Maneuvering for a job such as this requires a significant amount of planning to ensure the move goes without incident. Two tugs were used, the Molly M as the lead tug and the Jarrett M as the tail tug to ensure the 300 foot long, 2,500 tonne ship remained straight as it would tend to wander moving even in calm waters. “With months of planning and preparation, our crew leveraged their experience and executed the tow flawlessly,” said Nadrofsky.
Nadro Captain Rick Gatschuff was on the lead tug, and piloted Molly M throughout the tow, along with Captain Scott Brown in the tail tug, Jarrett M, which arrived in Port Colborne just ahead of schedule. Each with more than 15 years experience at Nadro, Captains Gatschuff and Brown had undertaken a number of dead ship tows throughout their careers with the company.
Nadro Marine is based in Port Dover, Ontario and celebrated its 25th anniversary late last year.