The Saint Class Tugs

RCN News - - Contents -

In the 1950’ss the RCN built three large Saint Class tugs, Saint An­thony, Saint John and Saint Charles, to be manned by naval per­son­nel and armed with two 40MM Bo­fors sin­gle mounts. Saint An­thony and Saint John were built by Saint John Drydock and Saint Charles by Davie in Lauzon. Soon af­ter de­liv­ery, it was de­cided the trio would be civil­ian manned with the planned ar­ma­ment re­moved. Saint An­thony was as­signed to the Pa­cific and based in Esquimalt, while the other two went to Hal­i­fax.

The three spent most of their time in ser­vice on tar­get tow­ing duty for sur­face ships and would of­ten deploy to sup­port the fleet on ma­jor ex­er­cises. RCN vet­eran Dave Stephens re­mem­bers, "We had Saint Charles as a duty boat in St. Thomas while on Bon­aven­ture." Fel­low vet­eran Bill Puff re­calls, "Saint An­thony was charged with tow­ing the sub­ma­rine Grilse af­ter de­com­mis­sion­ing had trou­ble with the tow, and they had to bring her and the Grilse back, and a skele­ton crew fi­nally took the Grilse back to the States."

Saint John was the first re­moved from ser­vice in 1972, be­ing sold for ser­vice as mer­can­tile Dol­phin X for tow­ing ships to a scrap­yard in San­tander, Spain. On Novem­ber 27, 1980, it was tow­ing a barge off Labrador when the tug sank ac­cord­ing to Tug­fax.

Saint An­thony at Esquimalt.

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