Fire Fighting in Canada

Headlines News
Minor injuries, undetermined damage after fire on naval ship

Feb. 28, 2014, Vancouver – Crews are assessing the damage to one of the Canadian navy's warships after a fire broke out in the vessel's engine room at sea, injuring several sailors.

February 28, 2014
By The Canadian Press

Feb. 28, 2014, Vancouver – Crews are assessing the damage to one of the Canadian navy's warships after a fire broke out in the vessel's engine room at sea, injuring several sailors.

The navy says HMCS Protecteur, a 44-year-old supply ship, was returning to its home port of Esquimalt, B.C., when the fire broke out Thursday night.

The crew put out the flames and the ship has been stabilized, though it has limited power, said Commodore Bob Auchterlonie, the commander of the navy's Pacific fleet.

"At this point, the ship is currently stopped in the water about . . . 630 kilometres to the north of Hawaii as they're assessing post-fire damage, what the impacts are to the ship's propulsion system," he told reporters Friday morning at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, west of Victoria.

Advertisement

Auchterlonie called the fire a "serious event," which he said took some time to be extinguished.

"Fortunately, our crews are trained to deal with these eventualities and that crew did just that," he said.

Several people on board suffered minor injuries and were treated on the vessel.

Auchterlonie would not specify how many people were injured or the nature of their injuries.

The crew on the 172-metre ship contacted headquarters at CFB Esquimalt at 10:20 p.m. Pacific time to report the fire, the navy said.

The American destroyer USS Michael Murphy was sent to assist the Protecteur, one of two auxiliary oil replenishment ships in the Canadian navy that were launched in 1969.

The Protecteur is expected to return to Pearl Harbor for a full assessment of the damage.

Auchterlonie said it was too early to speculate how the incident would affect the navy's fleet of supply ships.

The Protecteur, which left on Jan. 6 with HMCS Regina, was carrying 279 crew, 17 family members and two civilian contractors. The vessel was returning to B.C. from extended operations with the U.S. navy in the mid-Pacific.

The Department of National Defence said in a news release that having family members on board for the final part of such a voyage is a common practice with navy ships returning from extended operations and exercises.

The aging Protecteur was also damaged last August in a collision with HMCS Algonquin while en route to Hawaii.

The Algonquin sustained the most significant damage in the accident, but the Protecteur also suffered damage to its front end. Both ships were forced to cancel a planned voyage to Australia and instead return to port in Esquimalt for repairs.

The military in October that HMCS Protecteur and its sister ship on the East Coast, HMCS Preserver, will be retired in 2015.

Construction of new supply ships are expected to begin in late 2016, with a target of having them in service by 2019-20.


Print this page

Related



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*