HG&UW Photo Feature

Foundation Maritime

Salvage on the Grey Seas

The Foundation Company of Canada started off early in the 20th century as a construction company, and continued on under that name until the 1990's. In the 1930's, they branched out into maritime interests with the formation of Foundation Maritime, which later operated primarily out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Foundation Maritime slowly built up an impressive fleet of tugs and other vessels, with which they rescued countless vessels in distress off the Atlantic Coast. It was this period which was imortalized in two books by Farley Mowat, The Grey Seas Under and The Serpent's Coil . Foundation Maritime also played a part in the Second World War effort by building many of the Park class cargo vessels which were used by Canada to transport goods to the United Kingdom during the Second World War. An era came to an end when Foundation Maritime sold off its shipping interests in the late 1960's to focus soley on construction.

After the tug fleet was sold, the tugs initially carried on under their own names. The towing firm was eventually renamed Eastern Canada Towing Ltd., or ECTUG. The remaining tugs were partially renamed, substituting the Foundation for Point (for example, Foundation Vim became Point Vim). Although no longer Canadian-owned, ECTUG continues in business today, and a small fleet of five harbour tugs still calls Halifax home: Point Halifax, Point Chebucto, Point's Vim and Vigour (originally built for Foundation in the early 1960's), and a new Point Valiant (which officially replaced Point Vigour ). ECTUG still operates from the old Foundation Maritime wharf on the Halifax waterfront, and as well has operations on the Great Lakes.

The photos collected in this feature are separated into two sections, showing the company's tugs as well as some of the salvage operations in which the company participated. 

Foundation Maritime - Salvage on the Grey Seas


The Foundation Company of Canada. Special thanks to Harold Beswick, Gerry Dell, and Kevin Wilcott.
All photos courtesy of the Foundation Company of Canada (now AECON ), unless noted otherwise.
Foundation Maritime Limited. ...In All Respects Ready for Sea.  Company publication.

Baird, Donal M. (2003). Under Tow - A History of Tugs and Towing. Vanwell Publishing Ltd., St. Catharines, ON.

Maginley, Charles D. and Collin, Bernard. (2001). The Ships of Canada's Marine Services. Vanwell Publishing Ltd., St. Catharines, ON.

Mowat, Farley. (1958). The Grey Seas Under. Little, Brown, and Company, Toronto.

Mowat, Farley. (1961). The Serpent's Coil. Ballantine Books, New York.

Jane's Fighting Ships, various editions.

Various tug details: http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/hcgl/hcgl.html (Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green University)

Foundation Lillian information: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/ships-at.html  

Maplebranch information: http://www.hhpl.on.ca/GreatLakes/Documents/Scanner/04/08/default.asp?ID=c006

Various information courtesy of Mac Mackay, Travis Mullen, and Gerry Ouderkirk.

Haze Gray & Underway
Naval History Info Center US Warship Histories - DANFS World Navies Today
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