Fishing trawler crashes into docked navy ship

A Seattle factory fishing trawler being towed into Esquimalt Harbour crashed into a docked warship Tuesday, causing seawater to slam onto the bows of both vessels. Maintenance workers and crew members were on board both vessels and six people suffered minor injuries.

American Seafoods Company’s 272-foot American Dynasty broke away from two tugboats and ran into HMCS Winnipeg, said Larry Edwards of the Esquimalt public works department, who saw the collision from his window.

No estimates have been released on how much it might cost to repair the ships and the jetty at CFB Esquimalt where Winnipeg was docked. The warship was due back in service this month after undergoing a massive refit and systems upgrade.

Edwards said he saw a tug on the port side of the trawler’s bow helping it to swivel. Whatever went wrong happened quickly, he said.

“It wasn’t even a couple of minutes when the tug backed off in a hurry, and very quickly, within 15 to 20 seconds, we heard the boom and the wall of water rushed over the Winnipeg’s bow,” Edwards said.

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