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Friday, June 16, 2017

HMCS Chicoutimi Struck by Orca-Class Training Vessel

By: The Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- HMCS Chicoutimi, one of the navy's four submarines was hit Thursday by another naval vessel while docked at CFB Esquimalt in British Columbia.

A naval spokesman says HMCS Chicoutimi was docked in the harbour when an Orca-class training vessel that was moving at low speed bumped up against the sub.

Navy Lt. Greg Menzies says no one was injured, and that the two vessels sustained only minor scrapes, though a more detailed damage assessment of the submarine was being conducted.

The Orca-class are small vessels, about 33 metres long and displacing about 210 tonnes. The submarine is 70 metres long and displaces more than 2,400 tonnes.

Defence officials were investigating the cause of the crash.

The incident is the latest round of bad luck for Canada's submarine fleet, which has been plagued with breakdowns and other problems since the ships were bought from the United Kingdom in 1998.

The Liberal government says it plans to upgrade the subs so they can continue to operate into the 2030s, at which point the oldest will be more than 40 years old.