Sea King to be reunited with Annapolis

Concept drawing of the full scale replica airframe of the Sea King helicopter created by Apex Structural Design, of Red Deer, Alberta.

Concept drawing of the full scale replica airframe of the Sea King helicopter created by Apex Industrial Design Ltd., of Red Deer, Alberta.

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

A life-sized 11-tonne skeletal sculpture of a Sea King helicopter may be landing on the flight deck of the former HMCS Annapolis next year, which is submerged in Halkett Bay, north of Vancouver.

The former navy destroyer, decommissioned in 1996, became an artificial reef on April 4, 2015, through the work of the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC).

Next year, pending final approval from BC Parks, the sculpture of a CH-124 helicopter’s skeletal frame will be lowered approximately 70 feet below the surface onto Annapolis’ flight deck. 

Construction of the sculpture is being built by architectural steel contractor George Third & Son of Burnaby, B.C. The design is by Apex Industrial Design Ltd. from Alberta.

The helicopter’s frame is made of uncoated steel bars and measures approximately 10 feet wide at the wheel base and 50 feet long for the fuselage. The design allows the ocean current to flow through unimpeded and thus expand on fish and fauna marine habitat opportunities living in and around the artificial reef, says LCdr (Retired) Rick Wall, ARSBC Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. 

A Sea King on the flight deck of HMCS Annapolis.

A Sea King on the flight deck of HMCS Annapolis.

“Installing the aircraft on the flight deck where it originally operated will also be a fitting symbolic tribute to all the aircrew who served on board this proud ship,” says Wall.

The last of the Royal Canadian Air Force Sea King helicopters were taken out of action in December 2018 and replaced with the Cyclone helicopter.

“The Sea King was a helicopter that flew off the Annapolis throughout its service life,” says Wall, who served aboard the destroyer during his 41-year navy career. “Annapolis was chosen for the Sea King location because it was the first destroyer with an assigned helicopter on the West Coast.”

ARSBC’s mission is to create environmentally friendly artificial reefs through the disposal-at-sea of decommissioned vessels and aircraft. The main goals, says Wall, are for marine habitat enhancement, protection initiatives, and sustainable economic benefit for coastal communities.

For more information about ARSBC and their sunken wrecks visit


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  1. Buy Apex Ranks

    Sea King to be reunited with Annapolis : Pacific Navy News

  2. paul crawford says:

    The stretcher hoist story is kind of interesting, TACO’s/Navigators are not trained on the hoist and usually are not allowed to operate it, in this case my Navigator/TACO had been earlier in my trade before becoming an officer, we watched them on the deck of the Saskatchewan trying to rig up the four point ropes for an unusual hoist, MY TACO said, Paul, you were a Medic before aircrew, I’m going to hoist you down to help , we did so, got everything set up, between me,the ship’s medic and some ships crew, Archie hoisted me back up ,they connected the stretcher and we got him in the Sea King with difficulty. Sept 30th,1971, TACO Archie Moore, Pilot Lt. Jarvis.

  3. paul crawford says:

    Correction ,more than 30 live hoists, and I had the honour of flying Admiral Timbrell from Bermuda to Annapolis and taking the “Galloping Gourmet” Graham Kerr, back to his hotel in Bermuda ,he had sailed with us the day before and served in the kitchen line. We considered hoisting him down into the hotel swimming pool,in Hamilton, but came to our senses and took him to Kindley AFB,Bermuda. I got autographs for my kids ,during the flight in!

  4. paul crawford says:

    aesop on Annapolis in 71/72, one night we landed more than a dozen times doing horizon bar trails, I hoisted more than half dozen guys in emergency situations, they had to be off ships and home ,in one case hoisted a stretcher off the Saskatchewan with injured man and dropped him to an ambulance on the Halifax Commons.760 hrs in Sea Kings, most of it off the Annapolis, could I get my ashes dropped on Ann. bird site?

  5. re Sea King Project article – URGENT

    the design developer is Apex Industrial Design Ltd. – Red Deer Alberta not Apex Structural Design. Can someone please contact me at 604-733-1122

    thank you,


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