HMCS Preserver commander stripped of command

The Royal Canadian Navy has confirmed to CBC News that the commander of HMCS Preserver has been stripped of his command.

Cmdr. Larry Jones was in charge of the ship when it rammed into a fixed floating dock at the Halifax Irving Shipyard on Nov. 4.

The navy won't say how extensively the ship was damaged or how much the repairs cost.

HMCS Preserver is the largest ship in Canada's east coast fleet and had just gone under a $45-million refit before the incident.

In a statement to CBC News about Jones, the navy said there is "enough evidence for the navy to lose confidence in his ability to command at sea."

The navy has yet to complete its official inquiry into the collision.

The navy said there is a direct link between the collision and Jones's removal, and said Jones was relieved of command because of the "result of the preliminary finding of the Nov. 4 incident."

Jones has been transferred to a job ashore.

Any navy online pages containing Jones's name have now been taken down — and all pictures and information about him have been removed.

It took months to repair HMCS Preserver, but the navy said the ship left for sea trials earlier this week.

Just three months ago, another navy commanding officer lost his position. Lt.-Cmdr. Paul Sutherland of the submarine HMCS Corner Brook was relieved of his command after the sub hit the seafloor off British Columbia last June.

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