Military to further investigate misbehaving sailors

HMCS Whitehorse. (Wikipedia/User: Rcbutcher)

HMCS Whitehorse. (Wikipedia/User: Rcbutcher)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

OTTAWA — The war games are over for sailors on HMCS Whitehorse but the investigation has just begun into why so many Canadian sailors are behaving badly.

Three incidents over the past week during international maritime exercises in the Pacific embarrassed the Royal Canadian Navy to such an extent that a vice-admiral turned his ship around and returned it to port in British Columbia.

HMCS Whitehorse was among several Canadian vessels taking part in RIMPAC 2014, a major international naval exercise on waters off the Hawaiian island and southern California, hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The games run until Aug 1.

Navy spokesman Cmdr. Hubert Genest said several sailors were involved in incidents last week that broke the Navy's code of discipline, and one sailor was arrested by San Diego police.

Genest said the sailor, whose name has not been released, was not charged. San Diego police said they couldn't find any records of a Canadian sailor arrested at the beginning of July.

The three incidents — both on the ship and on land — involving sailors behaving badly, were not connected, Genest said.

Genest said the sailor was not charged by Diego Police, "but the incidents are serious enough to cause concern for the commander that enough is enough."

HMCS Whitehorse's commander, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who made the choice to leave the games early, said in a statement that "a small number of our personnel have fallen short of the timeless expectations of naval service and have failed in their roles as ambassadors of their Navy and country."

Genest said the recent incidents have pushed military brass to investigate the force's leadership policies.

"We want to make sure we are not facing a trend," he said.

A report is due in fall 2014.


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