About

HMCS Yukon (DDE 263) was a Mackenzie-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and later the Canadian Forces (CF). She was the first Canadian naval unit to carry this name.

Yukon was laid down on October 25, 1959 at Burrard Dry Dock Ltd., North Vancouver and was launched on July 27, 1961. She was commissioned into the RCN on May 25, 1963. Yukon was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and served primarily as a training ship with the RCN and later in the CF under Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC). She was retrofitted with the Destroyer Life Extension Project (DELEX) in 1983. Yukon was decommissioned from Maritime Command on July 31, 1992.

The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) started preparing Yukon for reefing, and the partially prepped vessel was sold to the San Diego Oceans Foundation. Under the leadership of Dick Long, Yukon was towed from Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt to San Diego, California in 1999. The Project Yukon Team, which consisted of over 2000 volunteers, spent 14 months gutting and cleaning her in preparation for her scuttling in July 2000. After being towed to the sink site on July 13, 2000, night swells rocked the ship, allowing water to enter the diver access holes cut low to the waterline, and shortly after midnight, her bow headed for the bottom. Rolling over on her port side, the stern stuck up in the air and it too sank to the bottom, a hundred feet below. She now rests in the San Diego Underwater Recreation Area off Mission Bay, San Diego, CA. Yukon is California’s latest and most popular wreck, both in and outside of diving circles.

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