A Serious Incident For The FPC Galiano

by John MacFarlane and Christopher J. Cole 2017

HMCS Galiano

The FPC Galiano Hard Aground at Royal Roads(Photo courtesy of MMBC. )

We all know about the loss of HMCS Galiano at the end the First World War – lost to the wild weather of the Pacific coast. But here are two pictures which show her fast aground – at Cobourg Spit (Royal Roads). She was attempting to provide assistance to the Norwegian bark Wulff (Captain Salveson) when she dragged her anchor during a heavy gale. While trying to get a hawser aboard the sailing vessel she accidentally fouled her own propeller leaving her to the wind to drive up on the beach. There were repeated efforts to extract her from the beach over several days by the tugs Swell and Protective (her hull was partially embedded in the sand).

The bark Wulff did not go ashore and remained swinging on two anchors in the Royal Roads. The Master refused assistance from the tugs and as the wind changed direction he sent his crew aloft to set sail and he was able to move into deeper water. The Wulff underwent repairs in the drydock and then loaded a cargo of lumber for South Africa from the Cameron Lumber Co.

HMCS Galiano

The FPC Galiano Hard Aground as HMCS Rainbow Attempts a Salvage (Photo courtesy of MMBC. )

HMCS Rainbow put a heavy hawser aboard the FPC Galiano. After large pumps removed water from the hull of the stranded vessel and the arrival of a high tide the cruiser manged to pull her free. The salvaged vessel resulted in a major repair contract for Yarrows Ltd. in Esquimalt BC. Extensive repairs were required including 16 new plates. The damaged floors and frames adjacent to these plates were removed and repaired. The stern frame was removed, welded and straightened with a new rudder stock fitted. Other fittings and machinery had to be overhauled and repaired.

As HMCS Galiano she sank in a storm at the end of the First World War and it raises the question as to whether her hull was somehow compromised in strength by the damage incurred in 1915 causing her disappearance with all hands. The Navy took great efforts to state officially at the time of the official inquiry into the sinking that "It can be safely assumed that the loss was in no way attributable to any failure on the part of the machinery or weakness of the hull and structure of the vessel; immediately before encountering this heavy gale, she was to all intents and purposes a sound and efficient vessel.".

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. and Christopher J. Cole (2017) A Serious Incident For The FPC Galiano. Nauticapedia.ca 2017. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/Galiano_HMCS_Incident.php


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