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The CBC broadcaster said that according to an eyewitness, at about 8:20 a.m. the American Dynasty trawler, led out by two tugs, was leaving a big ship repair dock attached to the base when it hit HMCS Winnipeg.
It is unclear what caused the incident, but “it appeared the fishing vessel went forward when it should have gone backwards,” CBC said.
Six civilians were taken to hospital, The Province reported.
“Whatever happened, it happened fairly quickly. It wasn’t even a couple of minutes when the tug backed off in a hurry and very quickly, within 15 to 20 seconds, we heard the boom and the wall of water rushed over the Winnipeg’s bow,” Larry Edwards, with Esquimalt public works department, was quoted as saying.
HMCS Winnipeg has just undergone a massive and expensive refit and systems upgrade. The fishing vessel is currently stuck in the frigate’s bow.