Spanish vessel arrives to fill Canada's naval supply ship gap

HALIFAX — The Royal Canadian Navy has enlisted a Spanish ship to fill the hole left last year when the last of the navy’s supply vessels was taken out of service.

The vessel, SPS Patino, will go to sea with East Coast Canadian warships on exercises later this month.

The stop-gap will ensure that Canadian ships and sailors can refuel and replenish provisions while at sea.

Both of the navy’s 1970s-era supply ships, HMCS Protecteur and HMCS Preserver, were taken out of service last year and are not due to be replaced until 2020.

A Chilean replenishment ship served with the West Coast fleet last year.

Protecteur suffered a serious fire in 2014, while Preserver was found to have serious corrosion problems and was relegated to the role of an in-harbour fuel barge.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.