HMCS Canada

A ship on the water

HMCS Canada

There has been only one vessel named Canada in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Canada

The Coast Guard Ship Canada was launched at the Vickers, Sons & Maxim shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, England, in 1904. Upon delivery, Canada became the flagship for the Fisheries Protection Service of Canada and was instrumental in detaining numerous vessels illegally fishing in Canadian territorial waters.  She was equipped with what was then the smallest Marconi wireless telegraph in the world.

Canada provided training for an embryo corps of Canadian naval officers before the creation of the Royal Canadian Navy, and was commissioned as a naval patrol vessel from 25 January 1915 to November 1919.

On 6 December 1917, she was one of the ships anchored at His Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard in Nova Scotia, during the Halifax Explosion. She suffered minor damage and one crew member was seriously injured. The crew was sent ashore to lend assistance to the shattered city.

Sold for commercial purposes in 1924 to an American company, she was renamed MV Queen of Nassau and went into service shuttling passengers between Miami, Florida and Nassau, Bahamas. Unfortunately, this was a service for which she was poorly equipped, lacking comfortable overnight accommodations for the island cruise, as well as air conditioning. Passengers rapidly lost interest in the service and once again the ship sat idle and rusting, this time for 18 months in Biscayne Bay, Florida. In 1926, Mexican investors were interested in purchasing the ship for service in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship left Miami on 30 June 1926 for Tampa, Florida to undergo a final inspection before the sale. After stopping twice in the Straits of Florida due to problems with her boilers, she began taking on water on 2 July. The 18-person crew abandoned ship and shortly after the former HMCS Canada slipped below the waves stern-first to a watery grave in 35 fathoms (64 m) of water off Islamorada, Florida.

  • Displacement: 557 tons
  • Dimensions: 62.8 m x 7.6 m x 4 m
  • Speed: 14 knots
  • Crew: 60
  • Armament: (in 1914) two 12-pound (5.45 kg) guns (2 x I) and two 3-pound (1.4 kg) guns (2 x I).
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