HMCS Whitehorse

A ship travelling on the water.

HMCS Whitehorse 705.

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

HMCS Whitehorse (705) / Kingston-class coastal defence vessel

In May 1992, a contract was let to Halifax Shipyards Ltd, Halifax, Nova Scotia, to build 12 Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) of the Kingston Class. They were designed to commercial standards and intended to conduct coastal patrols, minesweeping, law enforcement, pollution surveillance and response as well as search and rescue duties. The ships were fitted with modular payloads to carry out the assigned duties. 

HMCS Whitehorse is the sixth vessel of the class to be built; she was named for the capital city of Yukon. Work-ups off the east coast included a visit to St. John’s, Newfoundland, in July 1997. Whitehorse departed Halifax on 25 August 1997 and arrived at her new homeport of Esquimalt, British Columbia, on 24 October. After commissioning on 17 April 1998, she traveled the west coast of British Columbia visiting Skagway, Alaska in company with her sister-ship HMCS Yellowknife. She has served as a training platform for junior naval officers, conducted fisheries and sovereignty patrols, route survey work as well as remote mine-hunting trials. In 2003, she remained in extended readiness undergoing maintenance and repair. In January 2004, she set sail for work ups. On 1 July 2004 members of the ship’s company visited her namesake city and marched in the Canada Day parade. In the summer of 2005 she sailed to Oregon and Alaska, while serving as a training ship, and the crew assisted with the Yukon River Quest, a 750 km race from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon, providing meals and a safety boat for the competition. In October, she supported the Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue operations. The ship faced nine days of storm force or higher winds, and six days of hurricane force winds as high as 80 knots. The ship and the crew handled the rough conditions well and responded to three distress calls while on patrol. In 2006, while conducting route survey operations, Whitehorse rescued a group of local teenagers from the waters in the approaches to Nanoose Harbour, British Columbia, and then rescued another group stranded on Maude Island, Queen Charlotte’s Islands. Whitehorse continues to conduct operations in support of Canada’s policies.

Badge of HMCS Whitehorse.

Badge of HMCS Whitehorse.

  • Builder: Halifax Shipyards
  • Date commissioned: 17 April 1998
  • Displacement: 985.6 tonnes
  • Dimensions: 55.3 m x 11.3 m x 3.4 m
  • Speed: 15 knots
  • Crew: 37
  • Armament: one 40-mm gun and two 12.7-mm machine guns (2 x I)

Motto: Audentes Fortuna Juvat” (Fortune Assists The Daring)

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