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HMCS Cormorant (ASL 20)

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The badge of Cormorant
History
Italy
NameAspa Quarto
BuilderCantiere Navale Apuania, Marine-Carrara, Italy
Laid down8 December 1963
Launched11 April 1965
Completed15 June 1965
Out of service1975
IdentificationIMO number6516881
FateSold to Canadian Forces, 1975
Canada
NameCormorant
AcquiredJuly 1975
Commissioned10 November 1978
Decommissioned2 July 1997
Stricken1997
Identification
FateScrapped 2020
BadgeArgent, a cormorant volant, wings elevated proper, in base, three barrulets undy vert.[1]
General characteristics
TypeDiving support vessel
Displacement2,350 long tons (2,388 t)
Length74.7 m (245 ft 1 in)
Beam11.9 m (39 ft 1 in)
Draught5.0 m (16 ft 5 in)
Propulsion
Speed14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Range13,000 nmi (24,076 km; 14,960 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement65
Sensors and
processing systems
2 × Decca 1229 navigational radar
Notes2 × SD-1 submersibles in a heated hangar aft

HMCS Cormorant was a diving support vessel that served in the Canadian Forces. She was equipped with two SDL-1 submersibles. The ship was the first in the Canadian Forces to have women assigned to their crew. Initially constructed as the trawler Aspa Quarto in 1965, the ship was acquired by the Canadian Forces in 1975 and renamed Cormorant. The vessel remained in service until 1997 when Cormorant was sold to a US buyer. The ship was laid up at Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 2000 and was removed on 18 November 2020 to be scrapped in Sheet Harbour.

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Diving support vessel

Diving support vessel

A diving support vessel is a ship that is used as a floating base for professional diving projects. Basic requirements are the ability to keep station accurately and reliably throughout a diving operation, often in close proximity to drilling or production platforms, for positioning to degrade slowly enough in deteriorating conditions to recover divers without excessive risk, and to carry the necessary support equipment for the mode of diving to be used.

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Bridgewater is a town in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada, at the navigable limit of the LaHave River. With a 2021 population of 8,790, Bridgewater is the largest town in the South Shore region.

Ship breaking

Ship breaking

Ship-breaking is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for either a source of parts, which can be sold for re-use, or for the extraction of raw materials, chiefly scrap. Modern ships have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years before corrosion, metal fatigue and a lack of parts render them uneconomical to operate. Ship-breaking allows the materials from the ship, especially steel, to be recycled and made into new products. This lowers the demand for mined iron ore and reduces energy use in the steelmaking process. Fixtures and other equipment on board the vessels can also be reused. While ship-breaking is sustainable, there are concerns about the use by poorer countries without stringent environmental legislation. It is also labour-intensive, and considered one of the world's most dangerous industries.

Description

As built, Aspa Quarto was a stern factory trawler that had a 1,643 gross register tons (GRT) and a 961 DWT. The ship was 74.4 metres (244 ft 1 in) long overall and 65.0 metres (213 ft 3 in) between perpendiculars with a beam of 12.2 metres (40 ft 0 in). The trawler was powered diesel-electric propulsion system turning one propeller giving the ship a maximum speed of 14 knots (26 km/h).[2]

After conversion, Cormorant had a fully loaded displacement of 2,350 long tons (2,388 t). The vessel was 74.7 metres (245 ft 1 in) long overall, with a beam of 11.9 metres (39 ft 1 in) and a draught of 5.0 metres (16 ft 5 in). Cormorant was powered by three Marelli-Deutz ACR 12456 EV diesel engines as part of a diesel-electric drive system rated at 1,800 horsepower (1,342 kW). The engines drove one controllable pitch propeller, giving the ship a speed of 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) and a range of 13,000 nautical miles (24,076 km; 14,960 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). The ship had a complement of 65 which increased to 74 with the introduction of female crew members in 1980. Cormorant carried two SD-1 submersibles in a heated hangar aft. The SD-1 submersibles were capable of operating at depths of 610 metres (2,000 ft) with a lock-out compartment for divers. The ship was equipped with two Decca 1229 navigational radars.[3][4]

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Gross register tonnage

Gross register tonnage

Gross register tonnage or gross registered tonnage, is a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", each of which is equal to 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). Replaced by Gross Tonnage (GT), gross register tonnage uses the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel as its basis for volume. Typically this is used for dockage fees, canal transit fees, and similar purposes where it is appropriate to charge based on the size of the entire vessel. Internationally, GRT may be abbreviated as BRT for the German "Bruttoregistertonne".

Deadweight tonnage

Deadweight tonnage

Deadweight tonnage or tons deadweight (DWT) is a measure of how much weight a ship can carry. It is the sum of the weights of cargo, fuel, fresh water, ballast water, provisions, passengers, and crew.

Length overall

Length overall

Length overall is the maximum length of a vessel's hull measured parallel to the waterline. This length is important while docking the ship. It is the most commonly used way of expressing the size of a ship, and is also used for calculating the cost of a marina berth.

Length between perpendiculars

Length between perpendiculars

Length between perpendiculars is the length of a ship along the summer load line from the forward surface of the stem, or main bow perpendicular member, to the after surface of the sternpost, or main stern perpendicular member. When there is no sternpost, the centerline axis of the rudder stock is used as the aft end of the length between perpendiculars.

Beam (nautical)

Beam (nautical)

The beam of a ship is its width at its widest point. The maximum beam (BMAX) is the distance between planes passing through the outer extremities of the ship, beam of the hull (BH) only includes permanently fixed parts of the hull, and beam at waterline (BWL) is the maximum width where the hull intersects the surface of the water.

Knot (unit)

Knot (unit)

The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, exactly 1.852 km/h. The ISO standard symbol for the knot is kn. The same symbol is preferred by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), while kt is also common, especially in aviation, where it is the form recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The knot is a non-SI unit. The knot is used in meteorology, and in maritime and air navigation. A vessel travelling at 1 knot along a meridian travels approximately one minute of geographic latitude in one hour.

Displacement (ship)

Displacement (ship)

The displacement or displacement tonnage of a ship is its weight. As the term indicates, it is measured indirectly, using Archimedes' principle, by first calculating the volume of water displaced by the ship, then converting that value into weight. Traditionally, various measurement rules have been in use, giving various measures in long tons. Today, tonnes are more commonly used.

Draft (hull)

Draft (hull)

The draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel). The draught of the vessel is the maximum depth of any part of the vessel, including appendages such as rudders, propellers and drop keels if deployed. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. The related term air draft is the maximum height of any part of the vessel above the water.

Diesel engine

Diesel engine

The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel, is an internal combustion engine in which ignition of the fuel is caused by the elevated temperature of the air in the cylinder due to mechanical compression; thus, the diesel engine is called a compression-ignition engine. This contrasts with engines using spark plug-ignition of the air-fuel mixture, such as a petrol engine or a gas engine.

Horsepower

Horsepower

Horsepower (hp) is a unit of measurement of power, or the rate at which work is done, usually in reference to the output of engines or motors. There are many different standards and types of horsepower. Two common definitions used today are the mechanical horsepower, which is about 745.7 watts, and the metric horsepower, which is approximately 735.5 watts.

Nautical mile

Nautical mile

A nautical mile is a unit of length used in air, marine, and space navigation, and for the definition of territorial waters. Historically, it was defined as the meridian arc length corresponding to one minute of latitude. Today the international nautical mile is defined as exactly 1,852 metres. The derived unit of speed is the knot, one nautical mile per hour.

Hangar

Hangar

A hangar is a building or structure designed to hold aircraft or spacecraft. Hangars are built of metal, wood, or concrete. The word hangar comes from Middle French hanghart, of Germanic origin, from Frankish *haimgard, from *haim and gard ("yard"). The term, gard, comes from the Old Norse garðr.

Service history

The vessel was built as the Italian-owned stern trawler Aspa Quarto at Cantiere Navale Apuania, Marine-Carrara in Italy. Aspa Quarto was laid down on 8 December 1963, launched on 11 April 1965 and completed on 15 June 1965.[2] She was purchased in July 1975 and taken to Davie Shipbuilding at Lauzon, Quebec where the ship underwent conversion to a diving support vessel. The ship was commissioned into Maritime Command on 10 November 1978 at Lauzon, becoming the second Canadian naval unit to bear this name.[5]

In 1980, the first mixed gender crew trial took place aboard Cormorant in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. The trial lasted until 1984.[5][6] Among those serving on board during this trial was Louise Fish, acting as the supply officer.[7]

Between 23 August and 5 October 1989, Cormorant and CFAV Quest conducted defence research as part of Operation Norploy 89, which took place in the Arctic region of Canada, mainly in Baffin Bay, Lancaster Sound and the Davis Strait. Using the submersible SDL-1 deployed from Cormorant, the sunken vessel Breadalbane was discovered, a ship not seen since its sinking in 1853.[5]

Cormorant was an integral part of the November 1994 expedition to recover the ship's bell from the wreck of SS Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior.[5]

She was decommissioned on 2 July 1997 and sold to United States owners for diving operations.[8] The ship underwent conversion to an offshore support vessel in 1998[2] however the ship was docked in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 2000 and has remained there.[8] As of March 2015, the ship developed a severe list.[9] As of 21 March 2015, the ship had sunk in the LaHave River due to the amount of ice on the deck.[10][11] The Canadian Coast Guard took control of the salvage effort in May due to pollution concerns.[8]

The ship was refloated with the list reduced to 8 degrees. Salvage was anticipated to be completed in another week.[12] The ownership of the vessel remains unclear, with lawsuits claiming that a Texas-based company and the Port of Bridgewater own the ship, and therefore liable for the cleanup. The Port of Bridgewater claims that the vessel's sinking was due to sabotage and that the ship's thru-hull valves had been opened.[11] The ship remained at laid up in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia due to the ongoing court case.[13] In October 2020, RJ MacIsaac Construction of Antigonish, Nova Scotia was awarded the federal government tender to dispose of the ship. On 18 November 2020, the ex-Cormorant was towed out of Bridgwater Harbour for scrapping at Sheet Harbour.[14] Demolition of the ship was declared completed on 7 July 2021.[15]

The ship's bell of HMCS Cormorant is currently on loan to a Navy League Cadet Corps in British Columbia. The Christening Bells Project at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum includes information from the ship's bell of HMCS Cormorant, which was used for baptism of babies on board ship.[16]

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Keel laying

Keel laying

Laying the keel or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction. It is often marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship.

Davie Shipbuilding

Davie Shipbuilding

Davie Shipbuilding is a historic shipbuilding company located in Lauzon, Quebec, Canada. The facility is now operating as Chantier Davie Canada Inc. and is the oldest continually operating shipbuilder in North America.

Lauzon, Quebec

Lauzon, Quebec

Lauzon is a former city in southern Quebec, Canada, located on the St. Lawrence River northeast of Lévis. Founded in 1867 as a village it became a town in 1910, Lauzon had a population of about 14,500 when it merged with Lévis in 1989. The then-amalgamated city had the name of Lévis-Lauzon for about one year in 1991, before merging again and changing its name for good to Lévis.

CFAV Quest

CFAV Quest

CFAV Quest was an oceanographic research/acoustic vessel used by the Royal Canadian Navy and Defence Research and Development Canada. It was the only ship with this capability in the fleet. Based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Quest's crew were civilian members of the Canadian Department of National Defence and the ship was classified as an auxiliary vessel (CFAV). In 2016 it was announced the ship was to be divested and ultimately decommissioned by the end of the year.

Baffin Bay

Baffin Bay

Baffin Bay, located between Baffin Island and the west coast of Greenland, is defined by the International Hydrographic Organization as a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It is sometimes considered a sea of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is connected to the Atlantic via Davis Strait and the Labrador Sea. The narrower Nares Strait connects Baffin Bay with the Arctic Ocean. The bay is not navigable most of the year because of the ice cover and high density of floating ice and icebergs in the open areas. However, a polynya of about 80,000 km2 (31,000 sq mi), known as the North Water, opens in summer on the north near Smith Sound. Most of the aquatic life of the bay is concentrated near that region.

Lancaster Sound

Lancaster Sound

Lancaster Sound is a body of water in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. It is located between Devon Island and Baffin Island, forming the eastern entrance to the Parry Channel and the Northwest Passage. East of the sound lies Baffin Bay; to the west lies Viscount Melville Sound. Further west a traveller would enter the M'Clure Strait before heading into the Arctic Ocean.

Davis Strait

Davis Strait

Davis Strait is a northern arm of the Atlantic Ocean that lies north of the Labrador Sea. It lies between mid-western Greenland and Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. To the north is Baffin Bay. The strait was named for the English explorer John Davis (1550–1605), who explored the area while seeking a Northwest Passage. By the 1650s it was used for whale hunting.

Breadalbane (ship)

Breadalbane (ship)

Breadalbane was an 1843 British three-masted merchant barque that was crushed by ice and sank in the Arctic in 1853. Notable as one of the northernmost shipwrecks known, she is also considered one of the best-preserved wooden ships ever found in the sea due to slow deterioration in the cold Arctic water. Historically, Breadalbane is considered to be a time capsule.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area and the third-largest by volume, holding 10% of the world's surface fresh water. Located in central North America, it is the northernmost and westernmost of the Great Lakes of North America, straddling the Canada–United States border with the Canadian province of Ontario to the north and east and the U.S. states of Minnesota to the west and Wisconsin and Michigan to the south. It drains into Lake Huron via St. Marys River, then through the lower Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence River and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean.

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Bridgewater is a town in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada, at the navigable limit of the LaHave River. With a 2021 population of 8,790, Bridgewater is the largest town in the South Shore region.

LaHave River

LaHave River

The LaHave River is a 97 km (60 mi) river in Nova Scotia, Canada, running from its source in Annapolis County to the Atlantic Ocean. Along its way, it splits the communities of LaHave and Riverport and runs along the Fairhaven Peninsula and bisects the town of Bridgewater flowing into the LaHave River estuary. Tides affect water levels for about 20 km up the river. There are a number of tourist attractions along the river, and it is also well-used for recreational sailing. As well as two bridges at Bridgewater, the river can be crossed by a cable ferry at the Community of LaHave.

Canadian Coast Guard

Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard is the coast guard of Canada. Formed in 1962, the coast guard is tasked with marine search and rescue (SAR), communication, navigation, and transportation issues in Canadian waters, such as navigation aids and icebreaking, marine pollution response, and support for other Canadian government initiatives. The coast guard operates 119 vessels of varying sizes and 23 helicopters, along with a variety of smaller craft. The CCG is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, and is a special operating agency within Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Source: "HMCS Cormorant (ASL 20)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Cormorant_(ASL_20).

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References

Citations

  1. ^ Arbuckle 1987, p. 30.
  2. ^ a b c "Aspa Quarto (6516881)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  3. ^ Moore 1979, p. 85.
  4. ^ Sharpe 1990, p. 83.
  5. ^ a b c d Macpherson & Barrie 2002, p. 287.
  6. ^ James, Michaud & O'Reilly 2006, p. 470.
  7. ^ "8 naval women seaward bound". The Province. 11 April 1980. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b c "Bridgewater crews start pumping water from former HMCS Cormorant". CBC News. 26 May 2015. Archived from the original on 5 January 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  9. ^ Ziobrowski, Peter. "Ex HMCS Cormorant has severe list". Halifax Shipping News. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Concerns over pollutants after former Navy ship topples in N.S. harbour". CTV News. 21 March 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  11. ^ a b "3 vessels that sank at N.S. ports at centre of lawsuits, but who owns them?". CBC News. 2 January 2017. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  12. ^ Wilson, Gayle (3 June 2015). "Cormorant well on the way to being on an even keel again". Lighthouse Now. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  13. ^ Withers, Paul (24 June 2019). "Feds announce pollution assessment for derelict Bridgewater vessel". CBC News. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  14. ^ Palmeter, Paul (18 November 2020). "'It's been a nightmare': Ex-navy ship finally towed out of Bridgewater". CBC News. Retrieved 17 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ Taylor, Evan (7 July 2021). "HMCS Cormorant Is No More". CKBW News. Retrieved 4 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "The Christening Bells Project". CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum. Archived from the original on 30 December 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2018.

References

  • Arbuckle, J. Graeme (1987). Badges of the Canadian Navy. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nimbus Publishing. ISBN 0-920852-49-1.
  • James, Patrick; Michaud, Nelson & O'Reilly, Marc, eds. (2006). Handbook of Canadian Foreign Policy. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-739-11493-X.
  • Macpherson, Ken & Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–2002 (Third ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-072-1.
  • Moore, John, ed. (1979). Jane's Fighting Ships 1979–80. New York: Franklin Watts. ISBN 0-531-03913-7.
  • Sharpe, Richard, ed. (1990). Jane's Fighting Ships 1990–91 (93 ed.). Surrey, United Kingdom: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0904-3.

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