Thursday, March 29, 2018

Athabaskan - end of an era

Actually the end of the RCN's destroyer era was just over a year ago when, on March 10, 2017, HMCS Athabaskan was paid off as the last destroyer in the fleet. However when the ship left Halifax in tow for the scrap yard today, it was a reminder of what the RCN once was.

 The tug Atlantic Larch assisted by RCN tugs Glenside and Listerville gets away with Athabaskan on a tow line. The scrappers had a deadline of March 31 to remove the ship from HMC Dockyard.

Commissioned in 1972, as DDH 280 (Destroyer Helicopter), its Tribal class upgrade in 1994 made the ship DDG 280 (Destroyer Guided Missile) and gave Canada a platform for long range air defense. With its decommissioning that capability has been lost, and it will be a good many years before new ships are built to replace it.

Stripped of all its military gear the beautiful lines of the Tribal class are still evident.

Athabaskan will be scrapped by Marine Recyclers Corporation at their yard in Point Edward, NS (ironically at one time Nova Scotia's second largest naval base). 

Outbound for sea for the last time, it may be a decade before the next RCN destroyer sails from Halifax.


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