Restigouche Class Destroyer





HMCS KOOTENAY post IRE conversion

DND / RCN photo


Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1943-45,   Normandy  1944,   English Channel  1944,   Biscay  1944



Laid down: 21 Aug 1952

Launched: 15 Jun 1954

Commissioned: 07 Mar 1959

Paid off IRE Refit: 14 Jan 1970

Re-commissioned: 07 Jan 1972

Paid off for DELEX refit: 

DELEX Refit completed: 21 Oct 1983

Paid off: 18 Dec 1995

Fate: Broken up at Manzanillo, Mexico circa 2003/2004


First of her class to be launched, KOOTENAY was built at Burrard Dry Dock, Vancouver, and commissioned there on 07 Mar 1959. In Jul 1959, GATINEAU, KOOTENAY and HMS ULSTER shared close consort duties for the Royal Yacht BRITANNIA during Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway portion of the 1959 Royal Tour. After working up, she was transferred to the east coast.


In Apr 1963, 12 RCN ships, ALGONQUIN, MICMAC, CAYUGA, ST CROIX, TERRA NOVA, KOOTENAY, SWANSEA, LA HULLOISE, BUCKINGHAM, CAPE SCOTT, CNAV BLUETHROAT and CNAV ST CHARLES, took part in NATO Exercise New Broom Eleven, an exercise designed to test convoy protection tactics (click here to see the newspaper article).


On 23 Oct 1969, while in European waters, she suffered a gearbox explosion that killed 9 crewmen and injured 53 others. She was towed to Plymouth - part of the way by SAGUENAY and then to Halifax by a salvage tug. It was the RCN's worst-ever peacetime accident. While she was under repairs, it was decided to convert her to an IRE. She was re-commissioned on 07 Jan 1972.


Transferred to the west coast, she departed Halifax on 23 Jan 1973 and arrived in Esquimalt on 12 Feb 1973. HMCS KOOTENAY had left Esquimalt on 14 May 1973 on Westploy 2/73. KOOTENAY’s routine was similar to that of TERRA NOVA, exercising with American and Australian naval vessels, and assisting broken-down fishermen. When the Canadian continent left Saigon on 31 July 1973, she was just fifty miles off the coast, the closest either ship was allowed to approach Vietnam. KOOTENAY then proceeded home to Esquimalt. 


On 08 May 1986, HMCS PROVIDER, HMCS RESTIGOUCHE, HMCS TERRA NOVA and HMCS KOOTENAY, departed Esquimalt for Exercise RIMPAC 86 and returned on 21 Jun 1986. 


On 01 Jun 1989, KOOTENAY collided in fog off Cape Flattery with the M.V. Nord Pol, sustaining a sizeable gash in her bow, which was replaced with a matching section from Chaudiere.


From 03 to 07 Jun 1990, KOOTENAY visited Vladivostok as part of a Canadian Task Group, the first to do so since World War II. 


On 16 May 1994, HMCS KOOTENAY 258 departed Esquimalt, BC for Exercise RIMPAC. She departed Hawaiian waters and the exercise on 21 Jun 1994, for Operation Forward Action, Haiti, arriving in the Op Area on 13 Jul 1994. She returned to Esquimalt on 10 Oct 1994.


In 1995, KOOTENAY participated in EX UNITAS off the coast of Chile. Returning home, she made a final port visit at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; departing there on 16 Nov 1995.


KOOTENAY's boilers were shut down for the final time on 05 Dec 1995 after she returned from de-ammunitioning at Rocky Point. On 18 Dec 1995, she was paid off and, on 06 Nov 2000, towed out of Esquimalt with RESTIGOUCHE to be sunk as an artificial reef off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The RESTIGOUCHE was sunk off Acapulco, but KOOTENAY was not. She was later towed to Manzanillo, Mexico where she was last photographed in 2003. The KOOTENAY ended up under arrest as the purchasers didn't pay some kind of import fee and it ended up in a proverbial Mexican mess between the Mexican federal government and the harbour authorities and the owners. Last seen she was being scrapped at the dock and they later ran the remaining part of the hull up on the beach and took her right down to the keel. Sad ending for a great ship.


In 2019 and 2020, fourteen members of her crew were recognized with the Wound Stripe for injuries received 23 Oct 1969 during the explosion and ensuing fire onboard.  They were :  Allan Bell, Al Kennedy, Clem Bussiere, Brian Galletly, Hugh MacPhee, John Roy, Kenneth McEachern, John MacEachern, Garry Hadden, Paul Millar, David Ashley, John Judd, Al Peers and John Gregory



Photos and Documents          Former Crew Members          Ship's company photos          The Ship's Bell


Commissioning Booklet          Acceptance Programme after IRE conversion 1972





HMCS KOOTENAY - Dedicated to those who were on HMCS KOOTENAY on the day of the explosion, 23 Oct 1969


Once Upon the Brine - Life at Sea and Ashore in the Canadian Navy during the Cold War (1946-1989)


HMCS KOOTENAY 1969 Fact Sheet - updated Nov 2020



RCN Memories:     The Final Shutdown



Commanding Officers


Cdr Reginald John Pickford, RCN - 07 Mar 1959 - 11 Jul 1960

Cdr Harry Shorten, RCN - 11 Jul 1960 - 19 Sep 1962

Cdr David Hugh P. Ryan, RCN - 19 Sep 1962 - Sep 1964 (approx)

LCdr Frank Costin, Sep 1964 (approx) - 15 Jan 1965

Cdr Christopher Gratrix Pratt, RCN - 15 Jan 1965 - 01 Jun 1966

Cdr William P. Rikely, RCN - 01 Jun 1966 - 01 Jul 1967

Cdr George Coulson McMorris, RCN - 01 Jul 1967 - Oct 1968

LCdr Maurice H. Tremblay, RCN - Oct  1968 - 21 Mar 1969 (Note 1)

Cdr Neil St. Clair Norton - 21 Mar 1969 - 14 Jan 1970

Cdr James Lewis Creech - 12 Jan 1972 - 17 Feb 1973

Cdr Richmond Hill Kirby - 17 Feb 1973 - 14 Jun 1974

Cdr James Dixon Spalding - 14 Jun 1974 - 16 Jul 1976

Cdr Basil Patrick Moore - 16 Jul 1976 - 27 Jun 1978

Cdr Bruce Johnston - 27 Jun 1978 - 11 Aug 1980

Cdr Brian Harwood Beckett - 11 Aug 1980 - 28 Jun 1982

Cdr Steen Kais Jessen - 28 Jun 1982 - 09 Jan 1983

Cdr P.C. Young - 24 Jan 1984 - 05 Jul 1985

Cdr B.R. Melville - 05 Jul 1985 - 30 Jul 1987

Cdr J. Dickson - 30 Jul 1987 - 21 Jul 1989

Cdr G.V. Davidson - 27 Aug 1989 - 21 Jul 1991

Cdr James D. Fraser - 21 Jul 1991 - 29 May 1992

LCdr M.R. Bellows - 29 May 1992 - 31 Jul 1992

Cdr D.J. Kyle - 31 Jul 1992 - 21 Jun 1994

Cdr R.H. Dawe - 21 Jun 1994 - 18 Dec 1995

Note 1: Ken Mcpherson's "The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910 - 1981" has Cdr McMorris' end date as command of HMCS KOOTENAY as 15 Nov 1968. However, according to Cdr Rutherford (Lt at the time) LCdr Temblay, XO, was appointed CO in Oct 1968 and took the ship into refit. Lt Rutherford was appointed XO from Oct till Dec 1968.



     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     


BOUDREAU, William A.


died - 23 Oct 1969

BOURRET, Pierre S.J.


died - 23 Oct 1969

CRABBE, Thomas Gordon


died - 23 Oct 1969



died - 23 Oct 1969

HARDY, Michael A.


died - 23 Oct 1969



died - 23 Oct 1969



died - 23 Oct 1959



died - 23 Oct 1969



died - 25 Oct 1969

The KOOTENAY ribbon:  The ribbon is dark blue representing the dark blue of the Royal Canadian Navy; the letters are capitalized representing a “shout out” to those that use social media to convey the message; the letters are white representing the sacrifice of those lives lost on October 23rd, 1969; the rest of the ribbon is blank representing the lives unlived; the pin is straight representing those that unselfishly went to the aid of their comrades in arms; and the ribbon itself is curved and folded representing the timeliness of Remembrance. It is to be worn on the collar nearest the heart; commencing sunrise the first Thursday in October and removed at sunset on October 23rd.


Three ships in evening's misty dusk
Helm down and pointed away
Behind them, in Neptune's arms
They leave a man to stay

Like most of us, he was not great
No King would know his name
His pride of ship and honour
Were all that he could claim

He did his job, he fought, he won
He followed nature's whim
Yet, in the fleet
Eight hundred men reflect and think of him

Dear God, accept this man, our friend
Who we leave here today
And grant us the strength to carry on
With one less light to guide the way

October 23, 1969



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


(c) - crew member on the day of the KOOTENAY Explosion, 23 Oct 1969



























Instant, Ernie

















Mac Innis, Alexander J.

MacGregor, Joseph E. (c)

MacGregor, Ron (c)

C2WS at the time of the explosion

Mack, Andrew L.

MacKinnon, John R. (c)

MacKnight, Wayne (c)

Mainguy, Daniel N.

Marshall, Alexander (c)

Matchem, Clarence C.

Mayo, Calvin F.

McArdle, Christopher

McCallum, Roy

McClean, Ralph L.

McCulley, Stanley J.

McDougall, David W. (c)

McIntyre, Earl L.

McLean, John (c)

P1LT at the time of the explosion

McLeod, Ernie (c)

P1ER at the time of the explosion

McLeod, Robert W. (c)

McMorris, George C.

McNaughton, George (c)

McOnie, Dave

Melville, Wayne R.

Millar, Paul E. (c)

Milley, Gary G.

Mitchell, Earl C.

Moffat, Ernest Leon (c)

Moffat, Glen E.

Moore, Daniel G. (c)

Morgan, Ernest

Morrison, James G.

Mosley, James (c)

Mowat, Robert A. L.

Muise, Peter K. (c)

Mulock, William R.

Munday, Robert W. (c)

Murray, Allan L.










Palmer, Jim (c)

Parent, Neil

____-2006 (c)

LS.RM at the time of the explosion

Parry, Alan (c)

Pearce, Harvey C.

Perreault, Marcel (c)

AB.WU at the time of the explosion

Pickford, Reginald J.

Pirie, Edward D.

Pitre, Ralph J. (c)

Plourd, Lindy M. (c)

Purvis, Lawrence (c)




Quinn, Richard B. (c)














Taggart, Rod (c)

P1ST at the time of the explosion

Tay, Karl A.

Taylor, Douglas A. (c)

Teepell, Theodore M. (c)

P2ER at the time of the explosion

Taylor, Richard K.

Tessier, Yves G.

Thomas, Gary J.

Tiffin, Burton (c)

Tremblay, Maurice H. (c)

Turnbull, Roderick G.










Zabok, Ronald







     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


     Personnel also on board 23 Oct 1969    


Those listed here were on board HMCS KOOTENAY on 23 Oct 1969. This includes Squadron staff that were attached to HMCS KOOTENAY at the time of the explosion and crew from HMCS BONAVENTURE and HMCS SAGUENAY that were transferred to assist in fire fighting on this day.


Ching, George

C2SG, SQN Chief Yeoman

Finlay, Ferguson


LCdr, Squadron officer

Jones, David B.

Lt, E.O., HMCS Bonaventure

Lynch, Grant E.

P2ET, HMCS Saguenay

Morres, Michael F.

LCdr, Sqn Weapons Officer

Perry, George J.

LS Squadron Steward

Walton, Wally


Cdr, Squadron Officer






Former Crew Members


- crew member on the day of the KOOTENAY Explosion, 23 Oct 1969


Abraham, John M.   


Adams, Lloyd, ABFC 

Allen, George, P2ET 

Arimare, Joe, ABRP 

Aris, Michael (Mike), ABSN 

Armstrong, Jack, LSWS 

Armstrong, Walter, ABER 

Arnott, Gary, LSSG 

Ashley, David, ABRM 

Atkins, Tom G., ABBN   

Atkinson, Richard, ABRP 

Baillargeon, Dennis, SLt 

Baird, Lorne, OSRM 


Barkhouse, Ray, ABBN 

Bell, Allan (Dinger), ABER 

Bellefeuille, Michael Joseph, OSER 


Berbeck, Robert - Jul 1986 - Apr 1987


Biccum, Terry

Billard, George, LSER 


Binette, Ronald Robert (Ron), OSWS 


Boucher, Butch, HT

Boutin, (??) (Boots), OSER 

Boyd, Mike (Rick), LSST 

Brayshaw, Ray, ABET 


Briggs, Pat, OSSN

Bronson, Roger, P2FC 


Brown, Gerry, LSRM - 1979 / MSRM - 1981 - 1982

Bushell, David J., ABFC 

Bussiere, Clement, P2ER 


Cameron, Dave Dan, OSSN


Carter, Ken, LSWS 


Chamberlain, Jack, LSSG 


Clark, Wayne, LSSN 


Constantine, Goldwin (Connie), ABER 


Cormier, (??), OSER 


Corr, Jerry, P1SG 


Cosens, James Victor, LSSN 


Cottrell, Allan, ABBN 


Couvrette, Denis, P1RM 


Cryer, John, LSHT 

Cully, Dan, P1FC 

Dandy, Dave, OSWU 


Davidson, Gus, 1st posting OS & AB, 2nd posting LS 

Dean, James (Jim), LSER 

Desrosiers, Ray (Dez), LSFC   

Dooling, Larry, ABBM 


Duhamel, Alfe, C2SG


Elford, John (Jack), ABBN     


Evans, David John - 1984 - 1986

Finnamore, Russel, LSET 

Fisher, Kenneth G., ABWS 


Forbes, Gordon, LT Weapons Officer 

Forbes, Lance, ABSG 

Fox, Francis (Frank) J., ABRP 

Freeborn, Larry, P2RP 


Freisen, Stoney, LSET 


Galletly, Brian, LSER 


Gard, William (Bill) 


Garneau, Claude, OSSN 

Gordon, Bob, Pte, SW (Airforce) 

Gourley, David W., LSRP 

Gratton, Bob (Charlie), ABER 

Gregory, John H., P2ER 


Hadden, Garry, OSBN 

Halsall, Shawn Dennis, ABSG 

Hawse, Donald (Paul), ABRM 

Hazel, K.W., P1AW 

Helpert, David, ABRP 

Hildebrand, Ron, ABST 

Hodder, Peter, OSSG 

Hopper, Warren, ABFC 

Howell, Jerry, ABSW 

Hughes, Brian, ABBN 

Hughes, Robert (Bob), SLt 

Hutchinson, Jack, LSRP 

Inman, Dave, ABSN 

Johnson, David, LSRP 

Johnston, Cyril, SLt 


Johnston, Jimmy, Commissioning crew as a LS.ER

Judd, John, OSER 

Keenliside, John, SLt 

Kelso, Donald, ABWU 

Kennedy, Allan F., Lt, Engineering Officer 


Kloosterman, Jim

LaCroix, Janel (PJ), OSER 


Langevin, OS.SN 

Langille, Ernie, LSER 

LaPage, C.J. (Joe), LSSW 


Larcheveque, Richard, Sig - Sep 1972 - Mar 1973

Larocque, Ray, ABSN 

LeGier, Chris, LSSN 

Logan, Don, Sig - 01 Aug 1961 - 14 Jun 1962



MacDonald, Dave, ABBN 

MacDonald, Jim, ABCK 

MacDonald, Wayne, ABWU 

MacEachern, John, ABFC   

McEachern, Ken, OSSW 

MacKenzie, Brian (Oily), ABER 

MacPhee, Hugh, P2WU 

Martell, Bill, LSSW 

Martens, Rick, ABRM 

McCann, Jim, ABRP 

McGuire, Gary, ABRP 


McLeod, Doug, CERA - Paying off crew


McLeod, Ken, RM

Miller, Gord (Dusty), Lt, Supply Officer 


Mitchell, Mike


Montague, John, SLt 


Moore, Lee, LSSN

Morgan, Grenfell (Gary), OSSN 

Morris, Mike, LSWS 


Newbury, George, RCN


O'Sullivan, Harold (Sully), P1ER 

Palbom, John, ABSN 


Pascall, Luke, Stwd 

Patrick, Thomas, OSSG 

Peers, Al, LSFC   

Penny, Les, P2CK 

Prince, Réjean, ABSN 


Pye, Eric, AB.SG - 1973

Reid, Ed, LSSN 

Reimer, Tom, ABFC 


Richard, Andrew, LSCK 


Rockwood, Gerry - 1981


Rogers, Reg - 1976 - 1978, 1980 - 1981

Rowland, Steve, ABHT 

Roy, John Robert, C2ET 

Russell, Bob, P2PW 


Rutherford, Robert (Bob), Lt, RCN, Weapons O - Jan 1967 - Sep 1968 / Lt, RCN, XO - Oct 1967 - Dec 1967 

Salt, Brian, OSRM 

Saunders, Earle, P1WS 

Saunders, Russel W., CPL Engineer (Airforce) 

Savery, Robert, ABET 



Schwartz, Art, Lt, CommO 


Sharp, Randy 

Sorhus, Al, OSRM 


Specht, Tony - paying off crew

St-Amour, Michel, OSER 

Steele, John, ABWU 

Stewart, Brian, ABWU 


Stewart, Dave, SG


Stuart, Bob - 1983 - 1986

Swan, Steve, LSWU 

Swire(s), Al, ABAW 


Tanner, Gerald (Gerry), RM - 1965 - 1968

Theriault, J.L. (Roger), P2WS 


Tremblay, Gilbert (Gigi), LS-MS, EW - 02 May 1983 - 16 Jul 1984

Tymchuk, Wayne, ABSG 


Vansickle, Don, P1WU 

Weber, Brian, ABWU 

Webster, John, OSSG 

White, Ron, P2ET 

Wickens, Tom, OSHT 


Williams, Brian L.

Williams, Fritz, ABER 


Wills, Al, FC - Apr 1978 - Jul 1979

Winters, Gerald, LSSN 

Womack, John, ABWS 

Young, Tom, ABRP 



     Personnel also on board 23 Oct 1969    


Those listed here were on board HMCS KOOTENAY on 23 Oct 1969. This includes Squadron staff that were attached to HMCS KOOTENAY at the time of the explosion and crew from HMCS BONAVENTURE and HMCS SAGUENAY that were transferred to assist in fire fighting on this day.


Cormier, Rene - LS, Air Bosn/Firefighter, HMCS BONAVENTURE


Gadbois, Ed - LS  Air Bosn/Firefighter, HMCS BONAVENTURE

Moore, Doug H. - LS, Squadron Signalman

Henderson, Doug - LCdr, Squadron Operations Officer

Oliver, James B. (Jim) - LS, Squadron Signalman

Homer, Joe (Doc) - SLt, Squadron Medical Officer


Malasgar, Moe/Mac - P2 Air Bosn/Firefighter, HMCS BONAVENTURE



Photos and Documents


HMCS KOOTENAY 258 - undated


RCN photo

KOOTENAY's commanding officer cutting the 1st anniversary cake with his sword


Courtesy of Steve Rowland

Cake celebrating HMCS KOOTENAY's 1st Anniversary


Courtesy of Steve Rowland



Saturday 18 Oct 1969


Courtesy of Patti Christie


The KOOTENAY Explosion - October 23, 1969


At 6:05 AM KOOTENAY and Saguenay were ordered to separate from the task force and carry out a routine full-power trial. Saguenay completed her trial at 8:00 AM and KOOTENAY started her trial at 8:10 AM. At 8:21 AM KOOTENAY suffered the worst peacetime accident in the history of the RCN when her starboard gearbox reached an estimated temperature of 650 °C (1,202 °F) and exploded. The explosion and the ensuing fire killed 9 crew members and injured at least 53 others. The fire was brought under control by 10:10 AM and was extinguished between 10:30 and 11:00 AM. KOOTENAY was badly damaged but was kept afloat by the actions of her crew.




These ten pages record what happened that fatal day onboard HMCS KOOTENAY



HMCS KOOTENAY photographed from a CS2F Tracker 1546 off HMCS BONAVENTURE 23 Oct 1969


Crew: Lt. Snowie, SLt Dan Elder, PO Monty Montgomery, LS Scottie Mills.

Photo taken by Lt. Allan Snowie



The bodies of those who died in the KOOTENAY explosion are being placed in a helicopter to be taken ashore from HMCS BONAVENTURE


Courtesy of Jack Soble



Remembering KOOTENAY's Fallen



Funeral service being conducted for those who died as a result of the gearbox explosion on HMCS KOOTENAY, 23 Oct 1969




HMCS SAGUENAY leaves Plymouth, England for the burial at sea of three of KOOTENAY's sailors who died as a result of the gearbox explosion on HMCS KOOTENAY, 23 Oct 1969


From the collection of CPO Gord Giroux, Chief Steward


Courtesy of Debbie (Giroux) Graham





HMCS SAGUENAY leaves Plymouth, England for the burial at sea of three of KOOTENAY's sailors who died as a result of the gearbox explosion on HMCS KOOTENAY, 23 Oct 1969


Courtesy of George Damczyk.  George was an OSER on HMCS SAGUENAY at the time of the KOOTENAY explosion




Bryan, Harry - LS Air Bosn / Bugler, HMCS SAGUENAY. Volunteer bugler at KOOTENAY burial services and at KOOTENAY Memorial reunions



Funeral Service pamphlet for those who died in the KOOTENAY Explosion




Courtesy of Grant Reid







(01) Page 3 of a Summary of the KOOTENAY Explosion and Fire from HMCS BONAVENTURE. Credit: Naval Museum of Halifax. Courtesy of Brian Lapierre


(02) Newspaper article on the memorial service for HMCS KOOTENAY's fallen


(03) All crew members that were on HMCS KOOTENAY during the explosion in 1969 were given one of these certificates by the Navy in Oct 2011. Courtesy of Grant Reid


(04) Newspaper article on the first 20 crewmen from HMCS KOOTENAY arriving back in Nova Scotia - dated 07 Nov 1969. Courtesy of Patti Christie



HMCS KOOTENAY 258 - Welcome aboard booklet (prior to 1970)






Courtesy of Grant Reid


The Last Tot on board HMCS KOOTENAY 258

HMCS KOOTENAY 258 undergoing post-conversion sea trials - Oct 1972

Courtesy of Richard Larcheveque

KOOTENAY Kommandoes flag - created during during the return from Westploy '73


When we were returning from duty off Vietnam, an RP named Mike Caine helped me make a flag to fly off the mast to add a little extra colour for the occasion. It was flag “Quebec”, being an overall yellow, on which we caricatured a warrior, the “KOOTENAY Commando”


Courtesy of James Pye, LS.SG

Kevin Kirk standing in HMCS KOOTENAY's rope stores after her collision with the bulk carrier Nordpol

Courtesy of Kevin Kirk

HMCS KOOTENAY after her collision with the bulk carrier Nordpol

A certificate issued to PO1 NavSig Andre Sheppard after HMCS KOOTENAY rounded Cape Horn on 10 Oct 1995

Courtesy of Andre Sheppard


Series of photos showing the replacement of KOOTENAY's bow from Chaudiere after her collision with bulk carrier Nordpol.

Credit: Ian Ball, PO1, ERA, Ret'd


Photo 1) both ships with their bow sections removed


Photo 2)  KOOTENAY has her new nose job and her damaged bow is on Chaudiere

Gerry Rockwood on HMCS KOOTENAY during Ex Horizon View 81

Courtesy of Mike Engeland

HMCS KOOTENAY going through the locks on the Welland Canal during the Great Lakes Cruise, 1967

Courtesy of David Stewart


photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

photo 7

photo 8


(1) Mike Aris (left) and Égide Richard (the Pocket Rocket) in 1 Mess, HMCS KOOTENAY  (2) # 1 Mess, HMCS KOOTENAY, LS.SN Lee More, Capt. Jack and OS.SN Pat Briggs  (3) # 1 Mess, HMCS KOOTENAY, OS.SN Alan Parry on the right. (4) HMCS KOOTENAY transiting locks during Centennial events  (5 & 6) Paint ship on HMCS KOOTENAY  (7 & 8) The bridge of HMCS KOOTENAY 


photo 9

photo 10

photo 11

photo 12

photo 13

photo 14

photo 15

photo 16


(9) Burma road on HMCS KOOTENAY  (10) Cable deck of HMCS KOOTENAY  (11) Main cafeteria of HMCS KOOTENAY  (12) Bunks in 1 Mess - HMCS KOOTENAY  (13) 1 Mess settee area - HMCS KOOTENAY  (14) HMCS KOOTENAY's Wheelhouse  (15) (L-R) OS.SN Mike Aris, OS.SN Pat Briggs,  OSSN Jack Kilbourn, OS.SN Égide Richard (Pocket Rocket) (front)  (16) (L-R) Jack Kilbourn and Pat Briggs


photo 17

photo 18

photo 19

photo 20

photo 21

photo 22

photo 23


(17) KOOTENAY's Counter Terrorist Group - Chris Legier, Rocky, Mosley  (18) Mike Aris at the Fortress of san Felipe Del Morro, San Juan  (19) Mike Aris and OS Alan Parry's hand relaxing on HMCS KOOTENAY in Bermuda, Maple Spring '67  (20) Playing crib in 1 Mess on HMCS KOOTENAY  (21) OS.SN Dave Dan Cameron (right) and OS.SN Alan Parry (left)  in the Torpedo House during action stations  (22) HMCS KOOTENAY at Expo '67.  The Bluenose is in the foreground  (23) Mike Aris and Al Parry in San Juan


Courtesy of Mike Aris


photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6


(1) Rick Boyd, Rick Lalonde and Tom Atkins on HMCS KOOTENAY 258  (2) Begley and Boyd  (3) Begley and ??  (4) "Happy 21st Birthday"  (5) Begley and Boyd  (6) Lalonde, Begley, Hildebrand and ??  (7) 


Courtesy of Rick Boyd

Tot time on KOOTENAY - 1966

21st birthday celebration for HMCS KOOTENAY 258 at sea

Courtesy of Peter Ware

21st birthday celebration for HMCS KOOTENAY 258 at sea

The Buffer is presenting a carving of the ship to the CO

Courtesy of Peter Ware

21st birthday celebration for HMCS KOOTENAY 258 at sea

Horse races on the quarterdeck

Courtesy of Peter Ware

Crossing the Line - Equator on HMCS KOOTENAY 258

Courtesy of Peter Ware


Courtesy of Peter Ware

HMCS KOOTENAY 258 firing a CHAFF rocket

Courtesy of Peter Ware

Certificate issued to KOOTENAY crew members who were on her when she transited the Panama Canal on 20 Jan 1973 while transferring coasts  from Halifax to Esquimalt.

Courtesy of Grant Reid

Ron Hildebrand on HMCS KOOTENAY 258


Courtesy of Ron Hildebrand

ABER Dan Bélisle, HMCS KOOTENAY 258, circa 1969

From the collection of PJ LaCroix, OSER

Courtesy of PJ LaCroix

Stokers on the quarterdeck, HMCS KOOTENAY 258, circa 1969

From the collection of PJ LaCroix, OSER

Courtesy of PJ LaCroix

ABRM Jean-Pierre Boisvert, HMCS KOOTENAY 258, circa 1969

From the collection of PJ LaCroix, OSER

Courtesy of PJ LaCroix

At the hospital in Plymouth (L-R) Jacques Godin (OSSN), Guy Drapeau (ABRP), Michel St-Amour (OSER), Jean-Pierre Boisvert (ABRM)

From the collection of PJ LaCroix, OSER

Courtesy of PJ LaCroix

ABHT Steve Rowland, HMCS KOOTENAY 258, circa 1969

From the collection of PJ LaCroix, OSER

Courtesy of PJ LaCroix


Courtesy of John Hawley

HMCS KOOTENAY 258 - date unknown

From the collection of Sid Dobing

Courtesy of Brian Dobing

OSSG Don Logan on HMCS KOOTENAY in 1961

Courtesy of Don Logan

On 23 Oct 2015, Grenfell Morgan present the ship's badge of HMCS KOOTENAY from 23 Oct 1969 to the Damage Control Training Facility / HMCS KOOTENAY, in Halifax.

Courtesy of Grenfell Morgan

HMCS KOOTENAY's badge from 23 Oct 1969

Courtesy of Grenfell Morgan

Article from the Esquimalt Lookout newspaper dated 13 Dec 1995 on HMCS KOOTENAY's pending paying off scheduled for 18 Dec 1995

Courtesy of Melissa Atkinson, Manager Lookout Newspaper, Creative Services and Sponsorship

Abstract of a newspaper article from the Vancouver Sun dated 19 Dec 1995 on HMCS KOOTENAY's final sail past

Courtesy of Dennis Cardy

Former destroyer escorts HMCS KOOTENAY (right) and HMCS Restigouche (left) are towed out of Esquimalt Harbour Monday to begin an 18-day journey to Acapulco. The ships will be sunk to create reefs for divers. An effort to keep the ships as an attraction in B.C. waters fell short.

Credit: Darren Stone / Times Colonist

Newspaper article from the Times Colonist about the sale of HMCS KOOTENAY complete with rocket launcher

Credit: Susan Danard - Times Colonist  Photographer: Sean White - Times Colonist

Courtesy of Daniel Hebert

HMCS KOOTENAY just prior to her being sunk as an artificial reef - May 11, 2001

Source: Stourbridge Lion's Travel Log.

Photographer: Darren E. Hadley. © Darren E. Hadley 2001


"Let’s talk about this ship a bit more since this is part of “Reef Gate” and was big news here from 1999 to 2001. This Canadian Naval ship (and Restigouche – DDE 257) was towed from Canada to here to become an artificial reef on Navy Day, June 1, 2000. Well, there was a question on how they were purchased and here they sat until it was cleared up in 2001. Shortly after I took this photo the KOOTENAY was sunk near the Restigouche that was sunk just before our arrival."


WEBMASTERS NOTE: This photo is reported to be the former HMCS KOOTENAY, just prior to her being sunk as an artificial reef in 2001, however, it is actually the former HMCS Restigouche. The KOOTENAY was not sunk as an artificial reef (see photos below taken in 2003)

Newspaper article on the use of the former HMCS Restigouche 257 and the former HMCS KOOTENAY 258 as artificial reefs.

Originally published in the Laredo Morning Times, Friday, June 15, 2001


The article if from the magazine "Sport Diver" dated December 2001. It refers to the Cayman Islands plans to scuttle 5 ships as artificial reefs and one of their prospective ships is HMCS KOOTENAY




Former HMCS KOOTENAY at Manzinillo, Mexico in 2003


Courtesy of Stephane Desbiens


The End


The KOOTENAY ended up under arrest as the purchasers didn't pay some kind of import fee and it ended up in a proverbial Mexican mess between the Mexican federal government and the harbor authorities and the owners. Last seen she was being very heavily scrapped at the dock and they ran the remaining part of the hull up on the beach and took her right down to the keel. Sad ending for a great ship.




Not quite the end ......



2018 Reunion of the crew members who were onboard HMCS KOOTENAY during the gearbox explosion on 23 Oct 1969


(1) Harold Crockett  (2) Andrew Richard  (3) David Gourley  (4) John Montague  (5) Denis Couvrette  (6) Hugh MacPhee  (7) Mike Aris  (8) Tom Wickens  (9) Gord 'Dusty' Miller  (10) Jim Stutely  (11) Steve Rowland  (12) Bryan Hughes  (13) Cyril Johnson  (14) Bill "Jeff" Jefferson  (15) Brian Fenwick*  (16) Roger Theriault  (17) Rick Boyd  (18) John Gregory  (19) Doug Moore  (20) Chris LeGier  (21) Ron Hildebrand  (22) Wayne MacDonald  (23) Dinger Bell  (24) Jim Mosley  (25) Brian Galletly  (26) Ches Walters*  (27) Roger Bronson  (28) Warren Hopper  (29) David Ashley  (30) John Womack  (31) Frank Fox  (32) Gary McGuire


* KOOTENAYs, but not on board on 23 Oct 1969.




Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, presenting the Wound Stripe to Dinger.


Allan (Dinger) Bell received the Wound Stripe for injuries as a result of the explosion on HMCS KOOTENAY on 23 Oct 1969




Cmdre Angus Topshee presents the Wounds Stripe to Cdr (ret'd) Al Kennedy.


Excerpt from CFB Halifax Trident Navy Newspaper Sunday, June 30, 2019


"As the 50th anniversary of the fire and explosion in HMCS KOOTENAY approaches this fall, one of its survivors has finally been honoured with a Wound Stripe, a distinction worn on the sleeve of military members wounded in action prior to 2001.


Cdr (ret’d) Al Kennedy, 77, received the honour from Commodore Angus Topshee, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, on Tuesday May 14 at a ceremony in D100, CFB Esquimalt.


The Victoria resident was the Engineering Officer in KOOTENAY on the morning of October 23, 1969. Just after 8 a.m. there was an explosion in the ship’s engine room that killed nine people, including seven of the 10 men in Kennedy’s engine room team."




During the 50th Commemorative Reception at Tribute Tower, the 23 October 1969 crew of HMCS Kootenay received the first ever Commander RCN Unit Commendation for gallantry and bravery. It was presented by Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander MARLANT. Dinger Bell accepted this commendation on behalf of the Kootenay crew and it is kept at the Damage Control Training Facility Kootenay.