Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

March 02, 2014 15:40 ET

Royal Canadian Navy Vessel HMCS Protecteur is Now Under Tow by USS Chosin

The ships are now making way at slow speed en route to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

ESQUIMALT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 2, 2014) - Department of National Defence / Royal Canadian Navy

Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Protecteur was taken under tow by United States Ship (USS) Chosin in challenging weather conditions yesterday at approximately 6:00 p.m. PST. Both vessels are now heading towards Pearl Harbor. USS Michael Murphy remains in company with Protecteur as well as Chosin, on which the Protecteur family members and civilian contractors are embarked.

Once in Hawaii, efforts will commence to prepare Protecteur for its return to Esquimalt. Family members back home were updated today on the situation and continue to receive support.

The speed of a towing operation is about 5 knots or less (9 kilometres per hour); however, the inherent challenges associated with conducting towing operations in open seas make it difficult to make an accurate prediction of how long the overall transit will take. Currently, the best estimate is that the ships will arrive in Pearl Harbor this mid-week.

Quick Facts

  • The ship's company is well. All are focused on recovery operations and rest. Ongoing medical and support services are being provided as required.
  • The weather conditions have worsened, as forecasted, but should improve overnight. USS Michael Murphy is remaining in company with USS Chosin and HMCS Protecteur.
  • Fleet Ocean tug United States Naval Ship (USNS) Sioux is on station near Protecteur to assist in the towing operations if necessary.
  • HMCS Protecteur has limited electrical power and onboard systems continue to be reactivated in a controlled manner.
  • In close cooperation with USN, preparations have commenced for Protecteur's arrival in Hawaii, subsequent support to the ship and its crew and the beginning of follow-on damage assessment/investigation processes.
  • There are reports of significant fire and heat damage to the ship's engine room and considerable heat and smoke damage in surrounding compartments. The living conditions on board are austere as a result of the damage sustained during the fire.
  • An extensive and detailed damage assessment will begin once the ship arrives in Hawaii. An investigation into the cause of the fire is also being initiated.

Quote

"This is a difficult operation in a challenging environment. I'm pleased with what has been achieved so far with the help of our USN colleagues."

Commodore Bob Auchterlonie, Commander, Canadian Fleet Pacific

For more information on the Royal Canadian Navy please visit www.navy-marine.forces.gc.ca or follow us @RCN_MRC @MARPAC

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