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More problems for damaged naval ship

A snapped tow line is the latest problem as the disabled Canadian naval supply ship HMCS Protecteur limps back to Hawaii after an engine room fire left it dead in the water.

Lt.-Cmdr. Desmond James at CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island says the aging vessel was being towed through heavy seas on Sunday when the tow line broke.

James says USS Sioux, a deep water ocean tug, has taken over the towing duties and the slow return to dry dock in Hawaii, about 600 kilometres southwest, has resumed.

It's still hoped to have Protecteur in the U.S. harbour by later this week.

Twenty crew members suffered minor injuries fighting the Feb. 27 blaze that caused significant damage to the engine room and surrounding compartments.

Nearly 300 people were aboard, including 17 family members, selected to join the crew on its return leg to Esquimalt, which the Canadian Navy describes a common practice at the conclusion of long sea missions. (CFAX)

The Canadian Press

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