HMCS MacKenzie, Cornet Island

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HMCS MacKenzie, Cornet Island

by | Dec 8, 2019

HMCS Mackenzie was a destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy and later in the Canadian Forces before being scuttled in Haro Strait between Cornet and Gooch Islands, about 5 miles (8 km) east-northeast of Sidney and 17.5 miles (28 km) north-northeast of Victoria, British Columbia. Today the artificial reef is a popular recreational dive site

Mackenzie was built at Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, launched on 25 May 1961 and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet based at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Mackenzie-class vessels measured 366 feet (112 m) in length, with a beam of 42 feet (13 m) and a draft of 13.5 feet (4.11 m). The Mackenzie class vessels displaced 2,880 tonnes (2,830 long tons) fully loaded and had a complement of 290. The destroyer was powered by two boilers connected to steam turbines creating 30,000 shaft horsepower (22,000 kW). This gave the ships a maximum speed of 28 knots (52 km/h).

In 1963, Mackenzie was transferred to the Pacific and assigned to the Pacific Fleet as a member of the Fourth Canadian Destroyer Squadron. She served mostly as a training ship as part of Training Group Pacific but was also used for surveillance of the west coast. In March 1973, she intercepted drug smugglers off Quatsino Sound, and in July 1982, Mackenzie shadowed the Soviet spy ship Aavril Sarychev in Canadian waters which had been monitoring the North American west coast for new American submarines. In 1995, the Mackenzie was purchased by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia and stripped of environmental contaminants before being scuttled between Cornet and Gooch Islands in Haro Strait. Read more here and here. Explore more of Cornet Island here:

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