Chilean ship assists disabled Canadian vessel

A view of the disabled Canadian fishing vessel, North Isle,

A view of the disabled Canadian fishing vessel, North Isle, as seen from the deck of Chilean Navy Supply Ship Almirante Montt. Photo DND

Peter Mallett, Staff writer ~

The crew of the Chilean Navy supply ship Almirante Montt are being recognized by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) for assisting a stranded Canadian fishing boat.

The Chilean ship is in town as part of short-term Mutual Logistic Support Agreement between the RCN and the Chilean Navy, which concludes in June.

On the afternoon of April 18, the 20 metre fishing vessel North Isle, adrift in the waters near the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca off Port Renfrew, called for help on its radio after suffering a blown hydraulic line. The damaged line, which operates the ship’s net-recovery system, could not be cut free, and its submerged nets were greatly hampering maneuverability and passage through the water.

Almirante Montt was on patrol in the vicinity and responded to the request for assistance. They arrived on the scene at 5:30 p.m. Four Chilean sailors, with the necessary tools to make repairs, sped off to the fishing vessel via a Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB)  Working with the crew, the sailors successfully installed five new hydraulic connectors.

“I was pleased to learn they were able to assist the crew of the North Isle and get them back on their way,” said Lt(N) Travis Bain, MARPAC Tanker Support Liason Officer, the point of contact for the supply ship. “I think that it’s great having them here to help support us with our RAS [replenishment at sea training], and also an added benefit they were able to successfully assist the distressed fishing vessel that was in a potentially dangerous situation.”

Almirante Montt stayed on scene until after midnight when the North Isle was able to successfully recover its nets and get underway.
The Chilean sailors involved in making repairs were Lt(N) Carlos Paz, Sub Official Claudio Finlez, Sargento Jaime Oñate, and Cabo Frank Zamora.

Almirante Montt arrived at CFB Esquimalt April 4. The Mutual Logistic Support Agreement was made to provide RCN sailors with essential operational experience to operate the Queenston-class supply ships once they are delivered. The latest effort follows a similar support agreement in 2015 where Almirante Montt supported and conducted naval operations with HMCS Calgary and HMCS Vancouver.

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