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HMCS Windsor repairs expected to take about four weeks; injured crew returned to duty

HMCS Windsor, one of Canada's four Victoria-class submarines, in Halifax Harbour. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan HMCS Windsor, one of Canada's four Victoria-class submarines, in Halifax Harbour. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The Canadian Navy says three sailors who received minor injuries after one of its submarines ran into trouble at sea are back on duty.

HMCS Windsor was forced to return to port after it experienced what a military spokesman said Tuesday was a "flooding event from sea water stored in a tank inside the sub while at safe depth."

The incident happened Sunday, Sept. 10.

Capt. Pedram Mohyeddin of Maritime Forces Pacific, said the crew took the appropriate action, and followed standard operating procedures to deal with the flooding and resurface the submarine.

In a follow-up email to CTV Wednesday, Capt. Mohyeddin, said the Windsor was conducting crew readiness training and was intending to provide support to Exercise Cutlass Fury, a Canadian-led, 14-day multinational multi-threat warfare exercise, when the incident occurred.

HMCS Windsor was 40 nautical miles from Halifax at the time. It took about 10 hours for the sub to make it back to port.

"Repairs have been identified and will take approximately four weeks to complete," Capt. Mohyeddin said. "The repairs include inspecting and cleaning systems that were affected."

He said the vessel returned to Halifax under its own power and was assisted by tugs once inside the harbour, which is standard procedure.

Information on the extent of the minor injuries was not released.

Canadian Submarine Force Headquarters is currently investigating how the flooding occurred.

Prior to this trip, the last time the Windsor sailed was July 31 for crew readiness training.


Built by: Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, England

Launched: April 16, 1992

Commissioned by the Royal Navy: June 25, 1993

Bought by Canada: 1998

Commissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy: Oct. 4, 2003


The Windsor is one of four such vessels belonging to the Navy’s Victoria-Class of submarines.

They were bought from the British government in 1998, and delivered to Canada over a four year period from 2000 to 2004.

The first three submarines—Victoria, Windsor and Corner Brook—were commissioned into the RCN shortly after arriving in Canada.

The fourth, Chicoutimi, was delivered in 2004, but suffered a catastrophic electrical fire during it voyage to Canada from Scotland.

An international rescue effort was launched to save the disabled sub, but not before at least nine crewmembers were found injured and 32-year-old combat systems engineer Lt. Chris Saunders was killed.

It was not commissioned into service until 2015, due to the subsequent work required to repair the damage from the fire.

Beginning in September 2017, HMCS Chicoutimi spent a record-breaking 197 days at sea, patrolling the Asia-Pacific region from its home port in Esquimalt, B.C.

The deployment was the longest ever for one of Canada's Victoria-class submarines and also marked the first Canadian sub visit to Japan in 50 years.

In 2018, the Windsor embarked on a 133-day outing to the Mediterranean Sea for a pair of NATO training and counter-terrorism missions.

It was the first time a Canadian submarine was operational in the Mediterranean in more than four decades.

When Canada bought its four used subs from Britain in 1998, it spent $750 million. It has since put billions into maintaining and upgrading them.

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