H.M.C.S. Assiniboine

 

The H.M.S.C. Assiniboine was originally known as HMS Kempenfelt. Under the Canadian military the Assiniboine was a River-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1939-1945, becoming the first RCN vessel to be named after the Assiniboine River. This impressive vessel weighed a total of 1390 tons and could travel a top speed of 31 knots, carrying with it a total of 7 officers and 160 other ranks. It was on  August 8th 1945, after seeing much action over the years of service, that the Assiniboine was decommissioned from the Royal Canadian Navy. Later that year on the 7th day of November the Assiniboine, after being sold for scrap metal, was on route to Baltimore, Maryland  when it encountered a storm system just north of East Point. It and the HMCS York, which was towing it, seperated. The tow team quickly re-secured the line, stern first, in order to move the vessel south of the point towards South Lake where calmer waters lay. At a distance of about 5,000 to 6,000 feet from the South Lake shore they decided to drop anchor and wait until the next morning to better secure the tow line and continue on. The next morning the tow team made the crucial mistake of raising the anchor of the H.M.S.C. Assiniboine before fully securing the tow line. The fact that the two vessels were moving in opposite directions, produced enough force to sever the line once more. The Assiniboine was deserted by the tow team after a few more unsuccessful attempts. Over the next 6 days, the vessel drifted between two sand bars within a 300 to 400 yard range of shore. On the day of November 13th, a strong northerly wind blew in during high tide causing  the vessel to drift o a final halt roughly 150 yards off the shore of South Lake. People from near and far began boarding the deserted vessel in hopes of attaining keepsakes. It was noted that for many years the one room school in East Point, used a heavy bench that was believed to have come from the crew’s mess of the Assiniboine.  After much time after the vessel was wrecked. the owners of the Assiniboine decided to post two local guards to watch over the vessel. Of course, by that time most of the more easily removable fixtures and furniture was taken. The valuable brass and copper of the ship were then removed by hired scrap dealers from the Halifax and Charlottetown areas, which took several years to complete. In order for the large trucks to reach the shore and load the copper and brass, a road was built right from there to the main road. When all valuable metals were stripped off the once proud vessel, it's skeleton was left bare. Over time, The HMCS Assiniboine was slowly consumed by the soft rolling sandy shores of South Lake. 

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