Trawler damages docked warship

collision between a fishing trawler and HMCS Winnipeg

Seattle-based fishing trawler American Dynasty took a bite out of HMCS Winnipeg last week.

Last Tuesday, just after 8 a.m. Colours, HMC Dockyard’s normally calm environment was turned into one of tension when the Seattle-based fishing trawler American Dynasty slammed into the docked bow of HMCS Winnipeg.

The sound of the collision echoed throughout C jetty and a large spray went over the bow of Winnipeg. The force of the impact pushed her stern into the jetty.

Minutes later the area was transformed into an emergency response scene with the military police and firefighters managing the location.

Several people were sent to hospital, but no serious injuries were reported.

Dockyard workers stood behind the military police barricade wondering what had happened to create this bizarre mishap.

“Nobody knows exactly what happened,” said Brian Carter, president of Seaspan Shipyards. “The fishing trawler American Dynasty was being moved into the Esquimalt Graving Dock for normal maintenance, and two tug boats operated by Seaspan Marine were manoeuvring the ship when it collided. Details will surface after an investigation is complete,” he said.

“Safety and care of our employees are core values at Seaspan and we are committed to understanding what happened in this incident so we can make sure it never happens again,” he added.

Winnipeg is in the final stages of the Halifax Class Modernization (HCM) Frigate Life Extension (FELEX). Before the collision there were 65 Victoria Shipyard employees on board Winnipeg working alongside some of the ship’s crew.

It took the majority of the day to investigate and formulate a plan to dislodge the embedded trawler from Winnipeg’s bow. The ships were finally separated at 5:30 p.m.

An investigation from the Transportation Safety Board is currently being conducted.

“At any Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigation there are three phases,” explains TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski. “Right now we are in the data gathering phase where investigators go to the accident site and document the state of the vessels involved. They interview the crew, and gather information from sources and witnesses. We are in the preliminary stage right now, and we will decide if we must conduct a full investigation.”

The Navy is in the preliminary stages of its own investigation.

Note: This was the latest update as of press time.

-Shelley Lipke, Staff Writer

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