A Canadian Coast Guard vessel that sank in November last year due to an alleged act of vandalism remains unrepaired five months after the incident.
The Hero-class patrol vessel CCGS Corporal McLaren MMV has since been refloated and is presently in Nova Scotia near the area where it sank on November 26, 2018, the cost of its repairs still being estimated by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
The DFO has not yet provided details on when it will complete its cost estimate but emphasised that most of the repairs will be limited to the vessel’s interior.
Corporal McLaren MMV had sustained only minor hull damage. However, the onboard electronics and other delicate equipment reportedly suffered considerably greater damage after the interior had been flooded with saltwater for a week before the vessel was refloated.
The interior repairs will also involve testing of equipment and replacing defective items which will then further add to the delay in cost estimation, said Timothy Hui-Tung Choi, a doctoral student at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies of the University of Calgary.
Meanwhile, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has stated that no suspects have yet been identified in the sinking.
Further, DFO officials have pointed out the absence of a fence or gate, the “unreliable” surveillance cameras, and other inadequate security measures at the Canadian Maritime Engineering shipyard where the vessel was being repaired at the time of the incident.
Investigators and the DFO claim the poor security at the yard allowed the perpetrators to slip into the facility unnoticed and cut the cradle cable and safety chain keeping the vessel in place, which in turn caused it to slip free and slide into the water.
Local media outlets have referred the security issues at the shipyard to Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), which awarded the repair contract for Corporal McLaren MMV.
PSPC is yet to provide an official statement in response to the enquiries by the media.
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