Military makes temporary repairs to damaged hull of HMCS Athabaskan
HMCS Athabaskan heads past Georges Island as it heads out of the harbour in Halifax, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. (Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Monday, January 7, 2013 7:28PM AST
HALIFAX -- Temporary repairs have been made to the damaged hull of a navy warship in the hopes of resuming its trip to Halifax in the coming days, the military said Monday.
HMCS Athabaskan has been moored some 400 kilometres away in Sydney, N.S., for more than a week after it suffered damage to its hull while it was being towed. The vessel had just undergone a $26.7 million refit in St. Catharines, Ont.
The military has said tethering lines broke after the destroyer left Sydney and was being towed in rough waters off a rocky shoal.
Lt.-Cmdr. Bruno Tremblay, a spokesman for the navy in Halifax, said an engineering team completed minor, temporary repairs on the 40-year-old vessel Saturday to ensure its hull is watertight.
"I am confident that the ship can safely return here to her home port in Halifax," Tremblay said. "As planned, the tow will likely occur this week."
Tremblay said a plan is now being finalized with a different towing company, Irving-owned Atlantic Towing Ltd., to return HMCS Athabaskan to Halifax for further assessment.
He said the navy hopes the towing process, which could take several days, will begin this week if the weather co-operates.