(ASL) diving support vessel

The former Italian stern trawler Aspa Quarto, built in 1965, was purchased in 1975 by the Navy. She was lengthened, and then converted into the configuration seen above to serve as a diving support vessel. She could carry either the Pisces IV submersible or the SDL-1 submersible, the latter of which was capable of submerging to 2000 feet below the surface. She was the first ship in the Navy to have female personnel assigned. In 1997 she was paid off, declared surplus along with the SDL-1 submersible, and was sold to a firm in the US, where she and both submersibles were up for charter. CORMORANT was later seen laid up in Shelburne, NS, in 2000 and early 2001, and during the summer of 2002 she was towed up the LaHave River in Nova Scotia and was tied up just astern of ex-HMCS FRASER in Bridgewater. She is not part of the FRASER museum project, and is reportedly only there for storage.

Some of her duties will be taken up by the new KINGSTON class MCDVs.


Displacement: 2,350 tons 
Dimensions: 74.68 x 11.89 x 5.18 meters (245 x 39 x 17 feet) 
Propulsion: Diesel electric, 3 diesels @ 950 bhp each, 1 shaft, 2,100 shp, 15 knots 
Crew: 65 
Aviation: none 
Hangar: one, for 1 submersible: SDL-1 or Pisces IV 
Radar: 2 navigation sets 
Sonar: various search and wreck location sonars, sidescan 
Fire Control: none 
EW: none 
Armament: none 

Paid Off


 (click on thumbnail for bigger image) 
Cormorant on the LaHave
Ex-HMCS CORMORANT as she appeared during the summer of 2002, shearing drunkenly up the LaHave river under tow. (2002)
HMCS CORMORANT in Halifax Harbour. ('96) Sandy McClearn photo.
A close-up of Cormorant, within two weeks of her being paid off. ('97) Sandy McClearn photo.
A close-up of Cormorant's aft end and submersible hangar. The submersibles could be transported to the crane on the stern via a set of tracks, much like the helicopters are moved by the Beartrap device on the frigates and destroyers. ('97) Sandy McClearn photo.

Back to the Canadian Navy - Postwar Fleet

This section of the HG&UWsite created and maintained by Sandy McClearn .
Copyright © 1997-2002, Sandy McClearn. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction, reuse, or distribution without permission is prohibited.