HMCS Ottawa holds ship tours in North Vancouver

Guests interact with HMCS Ottawa sailors and subject matter experts while the ship docked in North Vancouver at the end of October. Photo supplied.

Kateryna Bandura, 
Lookout Editor

Approximately 500 guests visited HMCS Ottawa while the Halifax-class frigate docked in North Vancouver at the end of October.

Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Justin Simmons, Executive Officer with HMCS Ottawa, said the ship was in North Vancouver as part of the Achieve Anything Foundation’s ‘This is You’ program with The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

“The guests were very gracious for the opportunity to tour our ship, and they asked many inquisitive questions, which the ship’s crew were more than happy to answer,” LCdr Simmons said.

The guests toured the upper decks and the bridge, and interacted with several static displays of various sailors and their trades. Subject matter experts of various trades on board the ship showcased what they do best.

“Our subject matter experts comprised of divers, boarding party members, helicopter crash rescue firefighters, machinery control room watch keepers, medical technicians, naval weapons engineers and bridge watch keepers – so, essentially, all trades on board,” LCdr Simmons said.

LCdr Simmons said HMCS Ottawa had 20 students embarked as part of their at-sea Naval Engineering Indoctrination (NEI) course, where they learn all aspects of the ship. Ottawa’s NEI students were responsible for acting as tour guides, ensuring guests were taken to the areas where demonstrations were taking place.

The guided tours took the guests through several working and living spaces throughout the ship, including Sickbay, the operations room, the machinery control room, and the messes.

“The guests seemed especially interested in seeing some of the more interactive displays,” LCdr Simmons said, “such as the one with the boarding party where they got to hold the guns, or the rescue firefighters who cut a steel pipe in half with a tool.”

Ottawa is nearing the end of its trial’s sail in which the crew is testing the proficiency of their equipment. Once the technical and mechanical readiness is proven correct, the crew will sail for work-ups where the personnel will be tested in their ability to defend the ship.

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