Ship boat

VIDEO: Canadian Navy ship arrives in Port Alberni to wave to the water and welcome Indigenous people

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa arrived in Alberni Inlet on Friday, August 12 with fanfare on the water and a traditional welcome on land.

The HMCS Ottawa will be moored at SanTerm Berth 3 on Harbor Road for the weekend and open for public tours on Saturday August 13 from 1-4 p.m.

The harbor master the Royal Canadian Navy Fire Boat and Search and Rescue Vessel – Station 39 greeted the ship with an aquatic salute. Tugs from Pacific Towing Services Ltd. helped guide the ship to the dock. More than two dozen people gathered at the wharf of the Maritime Discovery Center to witness the ship’s arrival.

Tseshaht First Nation elected Chief Councilor Ken (Wahmeesh) Watts and a large delegation greeted the ship’s crew with drumming and singing, and an exchange of gifts with the ship’s captain. The delegation then zipped onto the ship for a private presentation and tour, including the onboard hangar which houses a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.

There are about 200 crew members, Commander Sam Patchell said; 40 of them are women, he added in response to a question from the crowd.

The HMCS Ottawa will be offering ship tours to the public on Saturday, August 13.

Free guided tours will be available on the Halifax-class vessel at San Terminals Berth 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. No pre-registration is required. Members of the public are asked to follow COVID-19 protocols and wear a mask on board.

Crew members will be in the Alberni Valley working on community service projects throughout the weekend, as well as visiting Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293.

The ship will leave around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 14. Its home port is CFB Esquimalt, near Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.


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Port AlberniRoyal Canadian Navy

The docking process to bring HMCS Ottawa successfully to Pier 3 at SanTerm took some time, with the cooperation of many ships and pilot boats. (SUSAN QUINN/Alberni Valley News)

Tseshaht elected Chief Councilor Ken Watts, right, Tseshaht Councilor Deb Foxcroft, second from right, and a delegation from the Tseshaht First Nation officially welcome crew members of HMCS Ottawa as the ship of the Canadian Navy docks at SanTerm Berth 3 in Port Alberni.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF CECILIA ADDY)

Tseshaht elected Chief Councilor Ken Watts, right, Tseshaht Councilor Deb Foxcroft, second from right, and a delegation from the Tseshaht First Nation officially welcome crew members of HMCS Ottawa as the ship of the Canadian Navy docks at SanTerm Berth 3 in Port Alberni. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CECILIA ADDY)

Commander Sam Patchell, Captain of HMCS Ottawa, offers cover to Darlene Taylor, seat holder of the Tseshaht First Nation.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF CECILIA ADDY)

Commander Sam Patchell, Captain of HMCS Ottawa, offers cover to Darlene Taylor, seat holder of the Tseshaht First Nation. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CECILIA ADDY)