July 30–August 6, 2000
When Canadian operations in Kosovo ended (see Operation KINETIC), the Department of National Defence hired SDV Logistics Canada Ltd. of Montréal to transport the contingent's 580 vehicles and 390 sea containers of equipment — Cdn$223 million worth of materiel — back to Canada, along with the three soldiers who were guarding the shipment. SDV Logistics hired a sub-contractor, Andromeda Navigation Co. of Montréal, which chartered the cargo ship GTS Katie, which was registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and owned by Third Ocean Marine Navigation Co. of Annapolis, Maryland.
The GTS Katie left Thessaloniki, Greece, on 27 June, and was expected to arrive at Bécancour, Quebec on or around July 15. During the voyage, however, Third Ocean Marine ordered the captain not to enter Canadian waters until Andromeda Navigation settled a monetary dispute arising from a previous charter; consequently, the Katie spent nearly two weeks circling in mid-Atlantic. Aware that a long delay in repatriating the Katie's load of military equipment would significantly reduce the operational capability of the Canadian Forces, government officials worked around the clock to solve the problem. Finally, when all other options had failed, diplomatic notes were sent to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which replied that no objections would be raised if Canadian authorities boarded the vessel.
On July 30, the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan received orders to keep the Katie in sight and, on July 31, the frigate HMCS Montréal joined the operation. At about 1:45 p.m. on August 3, fourteen sailors from HMCS Athabaskan boarded the GTS Katie in a helicopter-borne assault, and compelled the captain to resume his previous course to Bécancour, where the Katie arrived on August 6.
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