What is this mystery ship in Halifax Harbour?

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What is this mystery ship in Halifax Harbour?

Not far from the Macdonald Bridge in Halifax Harbour, a piece of maritime history is built into the Dartmouth shoreline. 

It was once known as the SS Daisy, built in 1912 as a trawler for the British navy. The rusting ship has been sitting in the harbour for decades, dating back to when it was a common practice to use old ships as infill to extend the shoreline out into the water. 

After the First World War, the Daisy was bought by the government of Newfoundland, according to research by Halifax marine blogger Mac Mackay. She became a de facto police boat, and enforced prohibition on the open seas by chasing down rum runners off St. John's. 

But her greatest challenge came in November 1929. A 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, sending a tsunami wave towards the Burin Peninsula. The Daisy happened to be docked at Burin and while the ship survived, the town of Burin was left in far worse shape.

Nearly 30 people were killed and whole houses were washed out to sea. It took nearly three days to get the word out about the disaster, since the single telegraph cable was severed. 

The Daisy went to work picking up stranded people and salvaging houses and boats that had been carried off into the sea, according to Mackay. 

Her history goes quiet for a while, but after the Second World War the Daisy limped into Halifax Harbour. She had been purchased by a company to work as a tugboat for a few years and was then scrapped. The ship was sunk into the harbour, filled with rocks and dirt, and a wharf was built over her hull, says Mackay.

Now, tens of thousands of Nova Scotians drive over her every day, never knowing she's there. Or where she's been.