NEWS

HMCS Protecteur towed into Pearl Harbor

03/06/2014 02:15 EST | Updated 05/06/2014 05:59 EDT
The Canadian navy HMCS Protecteur was towed into Pearl Harbor today, after a fire in the engine room last week caused the vessel to lose power several hundred kilometres northwest of Hawaii.

The Esquimalt, B.C.-based ship was being towed by a U.S. navy ocean tug. The investigation into what caused the fire is expected to begin shortly.

On Tuesday, 17 family members who were on board the ship for the final leg of its journey, arrived at Pearl Harbour on board a U.S. destroyer.

About 20 crew members suffered minor injuries — including dehydration, exhaustion and smoke inhalation — after a fire broke out in the engine room on Feb. 27 around 10:20 p.m. PT.

At the time, the Protecteur was returning from operations with the U.S. navy in the mid-Pacific. The ship was carrying 279 crew, about 20 family members and two civilian contractors.

National Defence said earlier that having family members on board for the final part of such a voyage is a common practice with navy ships returning from extended operations and exercises.

The Protecteur, launched in 1969, is one of two auxiliary oil replenishment ships in the Canadian navy.

The military announced in October that the Protecteur and its sister supply ship on the East Coast, HMCS Preserver, will be retired in 2015. Construction of new supply ships is expected to begin in late 2016, with a target of having them in service by 2019-20.

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