Several crew members have suffered minor injuries from an engine room fire aboard the Canadian naval vessel HMCS Protecteur off Hawaii. The 44-year-old supply ship was returning to its home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia when the blaze broke out Thursday night 340 nautical miles northeast of Pearl Harbour. The crew managed to put out the flames and now there is limited power on the vessel. The US destroyer USS Michael Murphy has been sent to assist Protecteur, and the Canadian vessel is expected to return to Pearl Harbor for an assessment of the damage.
The ship was carrying 279 crew, 17 family members and two civilian contractors returning to B.C. from extended operations in the mid-Pacific. Last fall the HMCS Protecteur was in a collision with the HMCS Algonquin en route to Hawaii. The HMCS Protecteur, an auxiliary oil replenishment ship, one of two such vessels in the navy that were launched in 1969, is expected to be retired in 2015.