Sail past this afternoon for navy ships bound for RIMPAC exercise

HMCS Regina and HMCS Winnipeg are in local waters for a few days prior to heading south to join an international marine exercise led by the U.S.

HMCS Regina pulled out of Esquimalt Harbour on Friday, followed by HMCS Winnipeg on Sunday, to take part in the Rim of the Pacific exercise, also known as RIMPAC 2020. The vessels will be going to the waters off Hawaii for the Aug. 17 to 31 exercise, which is staged every two years.

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The Canadian warships are scheduled to sail south on Thursday. In the meantime, they are carrying out tasks such as collecting ammunition from the local ammunition depot, taking on fuel, checking helicopters, and undergoing last-minute checks, said Janice Lee, spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Navy Maritime Forces Pacific Formation.

This is Canada’s first RIMPAC exercise using its new Cyclone helicopter.

The two frigates are carrying about 450 sailors and aviators. Lee said all crew members underwent quarantine and tested negative for COVID-19 prior to departure.

The exercise will include anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations and live-fire training events.

HMCS Regina and HMCS Winnipeg will be visible Thursday afternoon as they depart, sailing past the Greater Victoria shoreline. Each ship’s helicopter will be airborne during the sail past.

Starting near Discovery Island at about 4:15 p.m., the ships will travel west past the following observation points:

• Trafalgar Park — 4:40 p.m.

• Clover Point Park — 4:45 p.m.

• Beacon Hill Park — 4:50 p.m.

• Holland Point Park — 4:55 p.m.

• Ogden Point breakwater — 5 p.m.

• MaCauley Point Park — 5:05 p.m.

• Saxe Point Park — 5:10 p.m.

• Esquimalt Lagoon — 5:15 p.m.

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