Critical work on Sackville underway

HMCS Sackville has been hoisted from the water and wheeled into the submarine shed at HMC Dockyard where it is undergoing repair work over the next three months. Photo by Sandy McClearn, CNMT Trustee

HMCS Sackville has been hoisted from the water and wheeled into the submarine shed at HMC Dockyard where it is undergoing repair work over the next three months. Photo by Sandy McClearn, CNMT Trustee

Ryan Melanson Trident Staff ~

For the first time since 2008 Canada’s oldest warship, HMCS Sackville, has been hoisted on the Syncrolift at HMC Dockyard Halifax and moved inside the submarine shed. It will spend the next several months there undergoing repair work.

The Flower-class Corvette was tugged from its winter dockyard berth and brought up from the water on Feb. 11 for an initial cleaning of the 77-year-old hull, and then transfered to the shed. 

Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) Cape Scott personnel have begun the process of sandblasting, sonic testing, and other steps to determine the exact extent of work needed on the ship.

It has been 10 years since its last docking, and trustees with the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust (CNMT), the non-profit organization that owns Sackville, were uncertain about the integrity of the ship’s underwater hull.

While it continued to serve as a floating museum dedicated to the legacy of those who served at sea during the Battle of the Atlantic, it has been unable to do its annual committal of ashes service on Battle of the Atlantic Sunday since 2014.

The federal government is funding the $3.5 million repairs to make it sea worthy again.

“Navy headquarters has really gone to bat for us to achieve what’s been achieved so far, and we’re very appreciative,” said Commander (Retired) Jim Reddy, CNMT chair, and ship commanding officer.

Every six years since the 1980s, FMF has done a quick refit that involved sandblasting and checking the integrity of the steel. This latest docking period will be more extensive, with a significant portion of the steel hull possibly being replaced. The main problem isn’t corrosion from saltwater on the outside of the hull, but rather humidity that has caused problems in less protected interior areas on the port side of the ship, specifically the engine and boiler rooms.

Sackville’s popularity over the summer months welcoming more than 25,000 visitors in 2017 is a testament to its importance in educating generations about Canada’s Second World War naval history.   

“The interest is still very much there and that’s why we want to get it preserved, so we can carry on indefinitely down on the waterfront,” Brown said.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.