For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
HMCS CHICOUTIMI SSK 879
The former HMS Upholder was laid up by the Royal Navy in Jun 1994, and accepted by Canada and named Chicoutimi in a ceremony in Faslane on 02 Oct 2004. Sailing for Halifax on 04 Oct 2004, while running on the surface in heavy seas northwest of Ireland on the 05 Oct 2004, Chicoutimi suffered a major electrical fire, resulting in total loss of power and propulsion, and the death of one crew member and injury of nine others. An international rescue effort involving British, Irish and American naval and civilian vessels eventually rescued the crew and took the submarine under tow for return to Faslane on 10 Oct 2004. She later was transported to Canada on the submersible heavy lift ship Eide Transporter, arriving in Halifax on 01 Feb 2005. Chicoutimi was not commissioned into the RCN, pending an assessment into the feasibility of repair. The ship was placed in an Extended Limited Maintenance Period (ELMP) and in Apr 2006 it was announced that repairs would be deferred until her Extended Docking Work Period (EDWP), then anticipated to commence in 2010, as the first EDWP to be conducted by industry under the Victoria In-Service Support Contract (VISSC). Chicoutimi was transported to the Canadian Submarine Maintenance Group (CSMG) facility in Esquimalt under the terms of the VISSC, on the submersible heavy lift ship Tern, arriving on 29 Apr 2009. She entered her EDWP as predicted, in Sep 2010, and was undocked in Nov 2013. Chicoutimi has commenced a tiered readiness program with the aim of having the submarine available for participation in a multi-national exercise planned for the fall of 2014. On 03 Sep 2015, HMCS Chicoutimi was commissioned into the RCN at the navy dockyard, Esquimalt, BC. On 15 Jun 2017, HMCS Chicoutimi, while alongside at CFB Esquimalt, was struck by the Orca patrol craft Cougar which was exiting the harbour. There were no injuries from the incident.
Photos and Documents