Photo Credit: Charles Contant

Phoenix Sun saga comes to an end

The Phoenix Sun, will sail again.  The rusted 186-metre freighter has been docked at Sorel-Tracy, just east of Montreal since November 2012.

Now, after several dramatic chapters, including the people of Sorel coming to the aid of the hungry, stranded sailors, Transport Canada has finally granted the ship authorization to leave the down-town dock on Saturday.

A group of 12  Turkish sailors, originally hired to sail the Panamanian-flagged ship overseas for dismantling last year, were out two-months pay and left without food, a situation a spokesman for the Seafarer’s International Union, called “barbaric and beyond comprehension”.

Along with the SIU, the people of Sorel eventually came to the sailors’ aid, providing meals and showers and raising C$10,000 dollars to help the men get home.

Now, with another crew from India, the ship will sail to Gibraltor, and then on to Dubai where it is to undergo major repairs and be re-launched as the “Phoenix”.

The people of Sorel will be celebrating its departure, having organized a petition at one point to have the eyesore removed.

In an interview with CBC News, Mayor Serge Peloquin said, “It’s a story the ends well”, adding that, “it could’ve turned into a tragedy.”

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