HMCS Winnipeg is home, HMCS Protecteur is leaving for final journey

Victoria welcomed HMCS Winnipeg home on Tuesday and prepared to send HMCS Protecteur to the east coast on its final journey.

Winnipeg returned to CFB Esquimalt after more than eight months at sea. The sailors were welcomed by a crowd who cheered for the traditional first kiss by a male couple.

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The Halifax-class frigate, which has a crew of 250, was participating in Operation Reassurance in support of NATO activities in the Mediterranean, and in Operation Caribbe, a multinational campaign against drug-trafficking in the Caribbean and Pacific.

When Winnipeg stopped in Tokyo this month, two crew members were charged using a controlled substance and remain in police custody in Japan.

This morning, Protecteur will be towed to Nova Scotia for demolition. The ship, which was commissioned in 1969, was disabled by an engine-room fire in 2014. The vessel was towed to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, then to Esquimalt.

Protecteur was decommissioned in July and no longer belongs to the navy, said Lt. Greg Menzies.

“Assistant deputy minister (material) in Ottawa is overseeing the process of getting her towed out,” Menzies said.

Ottawa awarded the scrapping contract to R.J. MacIsaac Construction Ltd. of Antigonish, N.S.

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