Auxiliary Oil Replenishment Ship









Battle honours and awards:  Arabian Sea



Laid down: 17 Oct 1967

Launched: 29 Jun 1969

Commissioned: 07 Aug 1970

Paid off: 21 Oct 2016


Built at Saint John, NB, she was commissioned there on 07 Aug 1970. She was selected to carry Governor General Roland Michener on a visit to the Netherlands and Belgium in 1971. On this trip she twice hosted royalty, on 16 Apr 1971, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, and the 22nd, King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium.


In Jun 1971 she carried out the first-ever replenishment of a hydrofoil at sea, the recipient being HMCS BRAS D'OR. In 1974-75 PRESERVER served as supply ships for Canadian troops stations in Cyprus as part of a UN peacekeeping force. Throughout the Cold War, she and PROTECTEUR engaged in all major NATO exercises, and have remained indispensable.


Collision with PRESERVER - From 31 Jan to 01 Feb 1976 PROTECTOR (PT) was at anchor off Peter Island, British Virgin Islands for Operation Awkward (simulated attack from divers). It was on completion of the this overnight exercise that PT weighed anchor to rendezvous with HMCS PRESERVER (PS)  in the morning of 2 Feb 1976. A Consolidation RAS was scheduled as PS had just arrived in the op area and was still full of cargo fuel while PT was well down on fuel. PS also needed to lighten to reduce her draught prior to her first port visit in Trinidad. For the RAS, PS was guide and PT the OTC. Course was due north in the Virgin Passage, not far from Sail Rock (6 nautical miles SW of St. Thomas Island). Water depth was mainly 15 fathoms (90 feet/about 30 metres). The ships' draughts were about 30-33 feet (10-11 metres). The sea was calm, winds light and good visibility. PT made the approach on PS's port side. On coming alongside PS and decreasing speed, PT was not able to make small course adjustments to maintain replenishment distance and was inexorably drawn towards PS. Yokohama fenders were out and PT made light glancing contact with PS. There appeared to be no damage other than scuffed paint. The OTC decided to start again with a second approach and reduced speed to return to waiting station. PS then opened distance fine on PT's starboard bow. The suddenly, and inexplicably, PS made a hard turn to port, directly into the path of PT. PT ordered full speed astern both engines to make an emergency stop, but it was already too close to attempt to alter course. PT's bow made contact with PS just aft of midships at an almost 90-degree angle but pulled away almost immediately as PT was now making sternway. The RAS was cancelled and both ships returned to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico for damage assessment. The damage did not affect seaworthiness and both ships continued their Maple Spring deployment - PT with a bent bow.


In the opinion of the navigator, the cause of both contacts was shallow water effect (also called squat, the effect of restricted water flow, based on Bernoulli's Principle). This can theoretically start to occur with a draught to depth ratio of 1:4, but this possibility was not foreseen on the basis of a ratio of 1:3 and was therefore not allowed for. SWE may also have been exacerbated during this evolution with two deep-draught ships manoeuvring in close proximity at speed. What is known is that both ships experienced at least partial loss of control of their steering while manoeuvring at speed. (Submitted by Heinz Gohlish, Lt, RCN / C.A.F.


On 07 Apr 1993, she returned to Halifax from duty off Somalia. Between 18 Oct and 23 Nov 1993 she served in Operation Forward Action (UN sanctions against Haiti). On 27 Jan 1994 PRESERVER departed Halifax for Operation Sharp Guard, Yugolslavia; arriving in the theatre of operations on 10 Feb 1994. She returned to Halifax on 14 Jun 1994. On of Jul 1995, she departed Halifax for another tour as part of Operation Sharp Guard. She was one of the fleet units that assisted in the Swiss Air disaster off Nova Scotia in Sep 1998.


She departed Halifax on 17 Oct 2001, with Charlottetown and Iroquois, to support Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S.-led response to the terrorist destruction of the Twin Trade Towers, New York City, on 11 Sep 2001.  She returned to Halifax on 27 Apr 2002. 


Over the next decade PRESERVER continued to serve as the east coast tanker, but with increasing challenges to ensure the mechanical availability of the ship for operations.  She participated in TGEX 6/07 in Nov 2007, the largest fleet activity in recent years, and was the coordinating unit for a major multinational sail-past of the Quebec Citadel on 01 Jun 2008 marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city.


Following a major refit in 2010-11, her return to operational status was delayed by a jetty collision in Halifax on 04 Nov 2011.


PRESERVER represented Canada at the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebration in Boston in Jul 2012 before a deployment to the Caribbean 14 Aug - 03 Oct 2012 to participate in Operations Caribbe and UNITAS 53-12.  The year 2013 continued a successful operational cycle, with major deployments including the USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group work-ups off the Virginia Capes, Exercise Joint Warrior 13-1 in the North Sea, and another commitment to Ops Caribbe and UNITAS, for a total of 123 days at sea.


HMCS PRESERVER was paid off at Halifax, NS on 21 Oct 2016. On 02 Aug 2017, she departed Halifax for the final time, under tow of the tug Lois M., bound for the breaker's yard in Sydney, NS.



Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos          The Ship's Bell          Commissioning book          Paying off book


Old memories stir for petty officer - Navy News (AU)



RCN Memories:     Heart of the Fleet     Stranded!!



Commanding Officers


Capt Mark William Mayo - 30 Jul 1970 - 05 Sep 1972

Capt P.J. Traves - 05 Sep 1972 - 04 Jul 1974

Capt Maurice Hentry Tremblay - 04 Jul 1974 - 02 Aug 1975

Capt Henry William Vondette - 02 Aug 1975 - 06 Jul 1977

Capt Thomas Stanley Murphy - 06 Jul 1977 - 21 Jul 1978

Capt James Malcolm Cumming - 21 Jul 1978 - 13 Dec 1979

Cdr T. Heath - 12 Dec 1979 - 31 Jul 1980

Capt Leonard Joseph Cavan - 31 Jul 1980 - 03 Mar 1981

Capt Raymond Charles Hunt - 03 Aug 1981 - 18 Jul 1983

Capt James Bernard O'Reilly - 18 Jul 1983 - 11 Jan 1985

Capt Basil Patrick Moore - 11 Jan 1985 - 14 Jul 1987

Capt Bernard Emile Derible - 14 Jul 1987 - 04 Aug 1989

Capt C.D.E. Cronk - 04 Aug 1989  -  09 Jan 1991

Capt D.J. McClean - 09 Jan 1991 - 07 Apr 1991

Capt C.D.E. Cronk - 07Apr 1991 - 19 Jul 1991

Capt Robin Wendell Allen - 19 Jul 1991 - 19 Jul 1993

Capt Philip Charles B. Young - 19 Jul 1993 - 15 Jul 1994

Capt J.A. Keenliside - 15 Jul 1994 - 18 Jul 1996

Cdr J.P. Allaire - 18 Jul 1996 - 04 Jul 1997

Capt S.E. King - 04 Jul 1997 - 06 Jan 1998

Cdr N.S. Greenwood - 06 Jan 1998 - 27 Mar 1998

Cdr Richard R. Town - 27 Mar 1998 - 05 Jul 1999

Cdr D.J. Galina - 05 Jul 1999 - 05 Jul 2001

Cdr J.B. McCarthy - 05 Jul 2001 - 15 Dec 2002

Cdr I.A. Paterson - 15 Dec 2002 - 25 Oct 2003

Cdr S.B. Paget - 25 Oct 2003 - 16 Jul 2004

Cdr G.H.A. Hatton - 16 Jul 2004 - 11 Jul 2006

Cdr D.W. Shubaly - 11 Jul 2006 - 14 Nov 2007

Cdr D.M. Garnier - 14 Nov 2007 - 17 Dec 2009

Cdr H.G. Canuel - 17 Dec 2009 - 24 Jun 2011

Cdr B. Payne - 24 Jun 2011 - 05 Aug 2011

Cdr L.E. Jones - 05 Aug 2011 - 08 Mar 2012

Cdr J.N.N. Tremblay - 08 Mar 2012 - 08 Jul 2013

Cdr G.W. Adamthwaite - 08 Jul 2013 - 16 Jan 2015

LCdr Vicky Marier - 16 Jan 2015 - present



     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     


Hicks, O. Dean

PO2 Steward, RCN

died - 12 Nov 2014



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten















Eustace, L. Richard


















Ireland, Hugh D.




















Neil, Thomas W.














Quinn, Warren J.

















Vondette, Henry W.










Former Crew Members


Bell, B., LS - May 1986 - Jan 1987


Bell, Michael - AirDet - 1979


Beno, Wayne - 1980


Caron, D., MS - Jul 1983 - Feb 1985


Day, Nick, LS, Stwd - (1986)


Derhak, W.G., Pte - Jan 1985 - Oct 1987


Dummitt, Scott, ER - 1981 - Summer 1984


Dunn, LS - Jul 1984 - Jul 1986


Earl, LS - Dec 1984 - Dec 1986


Francis, R.M., MS - Jun 1983 - Jul 1986


Frechette, J., MS - Aug 1986 - Jul 1987


Frost, O.C., Cpl - Dec 1985 - Nov 1987

Garratt, Greg, Mar Eng Mech - 1981-1986


Gingras, J.R.L., LS - Aug 1986 - Jan 1987


Goulet, J.R., LS - Jan 1985 - Jan 1987


Grant, W.S., MS - Jun 1984 - Jul 1986


Hopkins, Ted


Kloosterman, Steve, HT - 1982-1984


Locke, Calvin, LS.ER-P2ER - Nov 1975-Jul 1982 


McDougall, Keith, LS.EM2, Jan 1971 - Feb 1971   


Miniou, Scott, RP/NESOP


Mulock, Todd - late 1980s

Parker, D.E.A., OS - May 1984 - Jul 1986


Pinnell, Terry, SLt - Jun 1975 - Sep 1976


Richardson, E.W., MCpl - Jul 1984 - Jul 1986


Robertson, Roderick Albert Alan


Scevior, R.J.F., LS - Dec 1984 - Nov 1987


Smith, M.D., AB - Dec 1983 - May 1986


Sheppard, Clyde, LS.BN - 1986


Stevenson, A., LS - May 1981 - Jun 1985


Tremblay, Gilbert (Gigi), PO1, NESOP - 11 Apr 2005 - 19 Sep 2005


Valley, Dave, ER - 1991 - 1993


Weir, Garry, Radioman



Photos and Documents







(FC09-FC12) The Commissioning of HMCS PRESERVER, 01 Aug 1970, at Saint John, New Brunswick

From the collection of MS BN Floyd Coughlin, RCN / C.A.F. (Navy)

Courtesy of Nancy Coughlin



Newspaper article from the Halifax Chronicle Herald on 08 Aug 1970 on the commissioning of HMCS PRESERVER in Saint John, NB on Friday, 07 Aug 1970


Courtesy of George Newbury

Newspaper article HMCS PRESERVER 510 fueling HMCS ANNAPOLIS 265 during sea trials


Halifax Chronicle Herald 20 Nov 1970


Research by / Courtesy of George Newbury

HMCS PRESERVER 510 conducting a RAS with HMCS ASSINBOINE 234 (Stbd side) and unknown DDH on port side - 22 Feb 1971 during Ex Maple Spring '71


Courtesy of Hugh Muir

HMCS PRESERVER 510 - undated

Crossing the Line (Arctic Circle) Certificate for Albert Crocker


From the collection of Albert Crocker, P2BN

Courtesy of Raymond Crocker



From the collection of Albert W. Crocker, P2BN


Courtesy of Raymond Crocker

HMCS PRESERVER 510 - Welcome Aboard pamphlet




Courtesy of Jarrod David

HMCS PRESERVER 510 - Welcome Aboard Booklet




Courtesy of Jarrod David


The photos below are from the collection of Robert Goodwin - who at the age of 12, got the opportunity to do an overnight trip to sea on his older brother's ship, HMCS PRESERVER.  Robert's older brother was Robert (Goody) Goodwin. These photos are circa 1972-73


photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

photo 7

photo 8

photo 9

photo 10

photo 11

photo 12

photo 13


(1) Robert Goodwin on the fo'c's'le of HMCS PRESERVER 510 by the 3"50 gun


Courtesy of Debbie Bulmer


HMCS FRASER 233 approaching HMCS PRESERVER 510 for a RAS - EX CARIBOPS '79




Courtesy of Bill McDonald (who was on HMCS Fraser)



Courtesy of Calvin Locke



Series of photographs taken during the collision between HMCS PRESERVER and HMS PENELOPE near Vestfjorden, Norway on 11 Sep 1988. Penelope was approaching PRESERVER for a RAS when she had a steering failure. Penelope caught the PRESERVER'S starboard anchor, cutting her port side open.




Photos were taken by Randy Anstey. Posted here courtesy of Craig Forsberg


Click here to watch a Youtube video of the collision


Collision between HMCS PRESERVER and HMS Penelope - believed to have been taken from HNoMS TRONDHEIN (F302) who was RASing on PRESERVER'S port side when the collision occurred.

Photographer unknown


Damage to HMCS PRESERVER 510 after her collision with HMS PENELOPE


Courtesy of David Mushing

HMCS PRESERVER brings two World War II Canadian Grizzly tanks back from Southampton, Eng., to Halifax in 1984. There was one on the port side and one on the starboard side for the crossing home.

Courtesy of Gaston Hall


Submitted by Scott Dummitt: There was a large crest on the front of the tanks with a "G" in it. The tanks were part of a deal made between the Canadian government and a private collector in Ontario. The collector paid for the tanks, the Navy brought them back and he donated one to the Canadian War Museum.


Historical note:  The Grizzly I was a Canadian-built M4A1 Sherman tank with some modifications and was fitted with Canadian Dry Pin (CDP) tracks, which did not require rubber, a scarce material in wartime Canada.


Newspapers clipping courtesy of Jean Viau

HMCS PRESERVER collides with the dry dock at Halifax on 04 Nov 2011

Courtesy of Craig Forsberg

The Final Voyage




The former HMCS PRESERVER 510 is towed out of Halifax destined for the breaker's yard at the Marine Recycling Corporation’s facility, Sydport Industrial Park, Sydney, NS - 02 Aug 2017


Courtesy of / © Clarence Hemeon 2017



The final 15 metre section of the former HMCS HMCS PRESERVER was broken up in December 2018, concluding an 18 month disposal of the ship. With nearly 1.4 million parts and 8,400 controlled goods certificates verified and catalogued, the storied life of PRESERVER came to an end with the issuance of her final Certificate of Demilitarization on 12 December 2018.


PRESERVER’s disposal is part of a larger disposal program managed by the Directorate of Maritime Equipment Program Management (Non-Combatants), Department of National Defence. In recent years, the disposal team has coordinated and witnessed the disposal of the former HMC Ships PROTECTEUR, ALGONQUIN, IROQUOIS, and Canadian Forces Auxiliary Vessel QUEST, and is currently managing disposal activities for the former HMCS ATHABASKAN and several auxiliary vessels including a fuelling barge, a deperming barge, and the dive tender GRANBY. The disposal team also works closely with the DND Materiel Group’s Directorate of Supply Chain Operations to commemorate the service of former ships by establishing monuments such as the IROQUOIS bow that will soon be displayed at the Carling Campus, Ottawa, and the IROQUOIS screws that were donated to the town of Sorel, Quebec, where IROQUOIS was built.


Courtesy of Colin Darlington, Commander, RCN, ret'd

Vice-President, RUSI(NS) - Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia