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Navy warships collide at sea, return to CFB Esquimalt

HMCS Algonquin (main image) sustained significant damage to her hangar on her port side after it was hit by HMCS Protecteur (inset) during a training exercise in the Pacific Ocean. While the full impact on the ships
HMCS Algonquin (main image) sustained significant damage to her hangar on her port side after it was hit by HMCS Protecteur (inset) during a training exercise in the Pacific Ocean. While the full impact on the ships' future sailing schedules has yet to be determined, HMCS Algonquin will no longer deploy to Asia Pacific region as planned.
— image credit: Courtesy of Canadian Navy Public Affairs

Two Canadian Navy warships are returning to CFB Esquimalt today after they collided with one another during a close-proximity towing exercise en route to Hawaii.

HMCS Algonquin, an Iroquois-class destroyer, sustained heavy damage to her hangar on her port side  after it was hit head-on by HMCS Protecteur, the Navy's only oiler replenishment ship in the Pacific Ocean. There were no reported injuries from the collision, which occurred around 11 a.m. Friday, said a navy public affairs spokesperson.

"The Royal Canadian Navy will be conducting an investigation into this unfortunate incident in order to determine exactly what happened," said Commodore Bob Auchterlonie, Commander of Canadian Fleet Pacific.

The two warships were conducting towing exercises, which require close-quarters manoeuvring, when the incident occurred, he said.

HMCS Algonquin will no longer deploy to Asia Pacific region as planned, and a board of inquiry will be convened to investigate the incident, the spokesperson said.

This is the second incident involving a naval warship this year. In April, a fishing vessel smashed into HMCS Winnipeg while the Halifax-class frigate was docked at "C" Jetty. An investigation into that incident by the Transportation Safety Board is ongoing.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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