News & Events
ATHABASKAN Refit Transit 20 March 2012
HMCS ATHABASKAN TRANSITS TO PORT WELLER, ONTARIO FOR REFIT
On the 20th of March 2012, HMCS ATHABASKAN set sail from Halifax to transit to Port Weller in order to undergo an eight month long refit. The preparations for this refit began in November on conclusion of an extremely busy sailing schedule. The ship’s company did not hesitate to commit the long hours required to prepare the ship for her refit and the transit to the Great Lakes. On the day of the sail, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic, Commodore Hawco, addressed the ship’s company and made presentations to members of ATHABASKAN. With morale high, and the crew in all respects ready, the ship proceeded to sea for her journey to Port Weller.
ATHABASKAN was unusually light in her displacement given that numerous systems, including weapons, sensors, and ammunition had been removed for the refit. Therefore, prior to leaving Halifax Harbour, the ship conducted maneuvering and ship handling in Bedford basin, which also afforded an opportunity to shake off the cobwebs after being alongside since November. Once outside of Halifax Harbour and northbound, ATHABASKAN faced various challenges, like large ice floes and poor visibility, but none of these prevented ATHABASKAN from meeting her timings. En route to Port Weller, the ship stopped in Montreal for the mandatory seaway lock inspection and the ship’s company took advantage of the stop to visit the city. ATHABASKAN left the next day to start the transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which would see the ship transit through eight locks and challenging pilotage over a period of 24 hours.
The demanding transit required that Special Sea Dutymen remained closed up for an extended period of time. Just south of Richelieu Rapids, ATHABASKAN experienced an engineering emergency, forcing the ship to conduct an emergency anchorage in restricted waters. The quick actions of the bridge and anchorage teams ensured the ship remained safe, while the swift efforts of the engineering department restored propulsion, allowing ATHABASKAN to carry on with minimal delay.
Arriving in Port Weller on the 26th of March, ATHABASKAN commenced final de-storing in preparation to turn the ship over to Seaway Marine & Industrial and ADM (Mat). The de-storing was completed quickly, which allowed the Commanding Officer, Commander Mike Davie, to turn the ship over early on the 30th of March. ATHABASKAN’s crew and officers experienced mixed emotions in leaving the ship behind, but planning and preparation have already begun to ensure the ship’s company is ready to sail the ship home to Halifax prior to Christmas.
- Date modified: