Victoria, navy officials eye public submarine tours

  • Jun. 10, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Greater Victoria residents and school kids may one day see the Canadian military in a whole new light – from deep within the belly of the subamrine HMCS Victoria.

“There is an opportunity hopefully to get it into the Inner Harbour – it will depend on tides and a few other things – where people can see it, and there might even be a chance to tour it (inside),” said Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, who was recently among a group of dignitaries invited to tour the vessel at CFB Esquimalt.

The city will also explore opportunities to bring school children from Greater Victoria school distric to the boat. Fortin said.

Public tours of the sub would be an exciting opportunity for residents to connect in a very unique way with more military personnel from the nearby military base, Fortin said.

The navy’s enthusiasm for the initiative gives Fortin hope the tours are only a matter of time.

“Everyone’s encouraging,” said the mayor. “It really is just a matter of logistics: how do we make this happen if it can, and where? It’s a fantastic opportunity.”

Officials with Canada’s Navy agree the idea has merit.

“Touring a submarine is a little more difficult (because of the confined space), but I expect when available and when appropriate the boat will be opened for some public viewing,” said Gerry Pash, Canadian Navy spokesperson based at HMC Dockyard at CFB Esquimalt.

“One has to recognize that the navy ships and submarines belong to the people of Canada, and we provide access as best as we can on an as-available basis to the public.”

While Canada’s previous Oberon-class of submarines was opened to the public, HMCS Victoria has only hosted dignitaries and the media since arriving in its namesake city in 2003.

Public tours of the Victoria could be held while it is moored in the Inner Harbour or at CFB Esquimalt, Pash said, adding that the sub can navigate shallow waters unlike a navy warship.

“Parking (HMCS Victoria) downtown and putting a large number of people (on the sub) would probably require some real thinking it through,” said Pash. “It’s not impossible, but you’re talking about having a great lineup of people, and probably taking some small number through at a time, whether its five or 10.”

It is too soon to tell when the tours will happen, Pash noted.

Work on HMCS Victoria, which is in the water and tied alongside a CFB Esquimalt jetty, is ongoing as it is prepared for full operational status, possibly next spring.

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

West Shore Parks and Rec staff member injury raises concerns about cut-through traffic

WSPR says staff member ‘seriously injured’ while monitoring scheduled closure

Victoria resident catches, cleans pigeon feet to help fight stringfoot

Hair, string tangled around birds’ feet can cut off circulation to toes and whole feet

Cyclists rejoice as the Christmas Lights Parade returns

Family-friendly 10km ride visits big Christmas displays, Dec. 21

Victoria residents advocate for funding for neighbourhoods without community centres

North Park Neighbourhood Association hopes to see $75,000 to bolster nearby staff

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, B.C. toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Most Read