Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 21, 2009 09:41 ET

Title of Decommissioned Warship Officially Transferred to DND

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - July 21, 2009) - The Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, the Honourable Peter MacKay, today announced that the title of Fraser was officially transferred back to the Department of National Defence (DND) from the Artificial Reef Society of Nova Scotia (ARSNS).

The Minister of National Defence donated Fraser, a retired St. Laurent class destroyer, to the Artificial Reef Society of Nova Scotia (ARSNS) in December 1997. The title, custody and liability of Fraser were transferred back to DND immediately before the vessel left its berth in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia earlier today.

"I am pleased that we were able to take this opportunity to do the right thing. We remain committed to developing a longer term solution for Fraser's future," said Minister MacKay. "I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in getting the vessel to this stage in the process."

Since March 2009, preparatory work has been underway for Fraser to be towed to Halifax. Extensive work has been conducted to mitigate any immediate environmental, health and safety risks and to ensure Fraser's successful return to a DND-owned berth in Halifax.

DND is evaluating a number of disposal options, including preservation of the vessel for heritage purposes, sinking it to create an artificial reef, or disposal by dismantling. No decision has been taken yet.

A formal agreement between DND and ARSNS was reached in December 2008 to transfer Fraser back to DND. Both parties recognized that, despite the best intentions and best efforts of the ARSNS, the significant scope of maintaining Fraser proved to be beyond the capacity of the Society's resources.

Fraser is a historically significant military artefact since it is one of the first warships to be completely designed and built in Canada. Fraser has been in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, as a floating museum since 1997.

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