Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa arrived in the Alberni Inlet on Friday, Aug. 12 to fanfare on the water and a traditional welcoming on land.
The HMCS Ottawa will be docked at SanTerm Berth 3 on Harbour Road for the weekend, and open for public tours Saturday, Aug. 13 from 1–4 p.m.
The Harbour Chieftain fire boat and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue–Station 39 vessel greeted the ship with a water salute. Tugs from Pacific Towing Services Ltd. helped guide the naval ship to the wharf. More than two dozen people gathered at the Maritime Discovery Centre pier to watch the ship’s arrival.
Tseshaht First Nation elected Chief Councillor Ken (Wahmeesh) Watts and a large delegation greeted the ship’s crew with drumming and song, and a gift exchange with the ship’s captain. The delegation then filed onto the ship for a private introduction and tour, including through the onboard hangar that houses a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.
There are approximately 200 crew members board, Commander Sam Patchell said; 40 of them are female, he added in answer to a question from the crowd.
The HMCS Ottawa will be offering ship tours to the public on Saturday, Aug. 13.
The free, guided tours will be available on the Halifax-class vessel at Berth 3 of the San Terminals 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 while onboard.
Crew members will be around the Alberni Valley working on community service projects throughout the weekend, as well as visiting Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293.
The ship will depart at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14. Its home port is CFB Esquimalt, near Victoria at the south end of Vancouver Island.