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Military vessel drydocked in Campbell River

The Black Duck undergoes emergency assessment at Campbell River’s Ocean Pacific yard. - Kristen Douglas/The Mirror
The Black Duck undergoes emergency assessment at Campbell River’s Ocean Pacific yard.
— image credit: Kristen Douglas/The Mirror

A military training vessel that ran aground near Powell River earlier this month is here in Campbell River being inspected for damage.

The Black Duck, a 55-foot auxiliary vessel run by 19 Wing Comox’s marine section, arrived at Dec. 5 at Ocean Pacific where it is undergoing a damage assessment.

“This one was brought here as an emergency haul out because it was taking on water,” said Bruce Kempling, president of Ocean Pacific. “It’s here for an emergency assessment.”

The onsite evaluation is an official recording of the extent of the damage the boat sustained, what can be restored, salvaged or replaced, and how long it will take to repair the vessel.

Kempling said there is no timeline as to how long the boat will be in Ocean Pacific’s ship yard.

The Black Duck got hung up on some rocks on Vivian Island near Powell River Dec. 3 during a search and rescue scuba diving exercise.

Capt. Trevor Reid, public affairs officer for 19 Wing, said the crew was conducting scoop diving exercises, which is part of the search and rescue technicians’ required annual qualifications.

Six rescue technicians and three crew members were on board at the time and had to be airlifted off the vessel by a Cormorant helicopter and flown back to 19 Wing Comox.

No one on board was injured.

This is the second incident involving the Black Duck this year.

On Jan. 16 a three-member crew onboard the Black Duck was conducting training exercises when it received a call from the Coast Guard about three people in a 16-foot welded boat experiencing engine overheating.

The Black Duck attended to the distressed vessel and after determining the boaters on board to be safe, waited with them until the Coast Guard arrived.

The Black Duck is primarily used for training and works in cooperation with 442 Squadron and is always in the water when the Snowbirds are in the air. The vessel also assists the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team by transporting personnel to sites where debris such as used smoke markers has washed ashore.

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