Generator problems delay HMCS Harry DeWolf’s return to North

Canadian Armed Forces vessel was supposed to return to Nunavut for Operation Nanook

The HMCS Harry DeWolf, seen here in Iqaluit in 2021, will be delayed in its return to Nunavut because of a generator failure. (Photo by Corey Larocque)

By David Lochead

The Canadian Armed Forces’ HMCS Harry DeWolf’s return to the North is being delayed due to a generator failure.

The Arctic patrol ship was on its way to join Operation Nanook, the forces’ yearly northern operation, when the problem arose and forced it to return to Halifax, said Lt.-Cmdr. Brian Owens.

“The plan we have right now is to repair that main diesel generator,” he said in an interview with Nunatsiaq News.

The Harry DeWolf is the first of a new class of patrol ships meant to protect Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic and along Canada’s coasts. It has four generators in total.

The 103-metre-long ship with a capacity to carry 65 crew members left Halifax on Aug. 15 with three of its generators working.

While it’s legal and acceptable for the vessel to run with three generators, problems arose with one of the ship’s other generators while en route. It is still possible to go up North with two engines, Owens said, but that wasn’t a risk the CAF wanted to take.

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It will only get a better idea of what is wrong with the diesel generators once the team’s engineers are able to look inside.

If the repairs go well, Owens said, the Harry DeWolf could be back on the water in about a week.

“The intention is to get the HMCS Harry DeWolf up there as soon as repairs are done,” he said.

The only Operation Nanook objective this year that could be jeopardized by the generator failure is the plan to have two of the Arctic patrol vessels in the North at once. The other vessel of the same class is HMCS Margaret Brook.

Plans to complete arctic research and engage with communities such as Pond Inlet will still go ahead.

Last year, the vessel was used in Operation Nanook to conduct rescue exercises in the North and to traverse the Northwest Passage.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Captain Canada on

    Canada bought the design from Norway for 20 million so Irving family can build these ships for Canada, but first the Canadian government spent billions to upgrade the Irving family shipyard so they can have the capability to build these ships.
    Looking at HMCS Harry DeWolf and the sister ships in Norway and Denmark the quality doesn’t seem to be there with our new Canadian patrol ships, ribs and bends showing on the haul instead of it being flat and smooth, rust already showing on a new ship, so many electrical and engine issues.
    Our Canadian government spent ten times more on one of these ships for Irving to build, instead of buying 4 of them from Norway for a cheaper price with better quality built.
    I don’t understand the logic to spend more money and waste time on a poor inferior built quality ship.

    • Posted by Jay Deacon on

      Anyone with a nose can smell the distinct ‘odeur’ of political favouritism and recognize the legendary cronyism this region is renowned in the selection of the lead contractor. And is it really fair to expect simple handymen and fisherfolk to have the skills to build a world leading military vessel without years of remedial technical training?
      Heaven help Canada if we are putting the fate of our naval personal, the survival of our ships, and the outcome of military engagements in the hands of these latter-day landlubber Lairds. Expect nothing but more technical problems and more cost over-runs from this smug, complacent firm. ‘As ye start, so shall ye go.’

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