The province is proclaiming Sunday, Oct. 23, as HMCS Kootenay Day in remembrance of the worst peacetime accident in the history of the Royal Canadian Navy.
“We honour the crew of HMCS Kootenay and may we never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country,” said Premier Stephen McNeil, as Minister responsible for Military Relations.
On Oct. 23, 1969, nine crewmen died and 53 were seriously injured after an explosion ripped through the Kootenay’s starboard gearbox while performing sea trials about 320 kilometres off the southwest coast of England.
“We offer the remaining survivors of the Kootenay disaster and their families our heartfelt thanks,” said Premier McNeil. “As members of the Royal Canadian Navy, these crew members were willing to put the lives of others ahead of their own as they helped protect the freedoms that Canadians enjoy, but often take for granted.”
A commemorative event marking HMCS Kootenay Day will take place on Friday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m., at the Damage Control Training Facility, 11245 John Brackett Dr., Halifax.