The History of the CORMORANT

HMCS Cormorant (ASL 20) was a diving support vessel that served in the Canadian Forces. She was equipped with either Pisces IV submersible or the SDL-1 submersible.

The vessel was built as the Italian-owned stern trawler Aspa Quarto. She was purchased in 1975 and commissioned into Maritime Command, becoming the second Canadian naval unit to bear this name.

HMCS Comorant (781) was a Bird-class patrol vessel built by Birdland Boat Works. Midland, Ontario in 1956 and served until 1963. It was sold to a religious mission, but the ship never sailed to the final destination.

She was decommissioned in 1997 and sold to United States owners for diving operations, although she has remained docked in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia alongside HMCS Fraser (DDH 233).

More recently, the Cormorant was purchased at auction by Neil Hjelle in September 2009 to be refit and used for research in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

CORMORANT Statistical Data

  • Pendant: 20
  • Class:
  • Displacement: 2,350 tonnes
  • Length: 245 ft
  • Width: 39 ft
  • Draught: 16.5 ft
  • Speed: 14 kts
  • Compliment: 65 Total Officers and Crew
  • Arms: None fitted.
  • Builder: Cantiere Navale Apuania, Marine-Carrara, Italy
  • Keel Laid:
  • Date Launched: 1965
  • Date Commissioned: 10-Nov-78
  • Paid off: 02-Jul-97


Formerly the Italian trawler ASPA QUARTO. Carried either the Pisces IV submersible or the SDL-1 submersible. Sold in 1997 to a commerical interest in the USA where she is used for commercial diving operations.

Keywords: HMCS CORMORANT, Royal Canadian Navy Ship, DIVING SUPPORT VESSEL, Class