Navy picking up soldiers for Haiti relief

HMCS Athabaskan is taking a break from relief duties in Haiti to replenish supplies and pick up Canadian soldiers in Jamaica.

HMCS Athabaskan is taking a break from relief duties in Haiti to replenish supplies and pick up Canadian soldiers in Jamaica.

The Canadian Forces destroyer left the earthquake-battered country Tuesday night and was entering Kingston Harbour on Wednesday morning.

CBC reporter Rob Gordon, who is aboard the Athabaskan, said the ship set out for Kingston, where the Canadian Forces have a supply depot, after it ran out of fresh vegetables and other food.

"When we get to Kingston all of the sailors will go ashore and begin loading the ship with literally hundreds of tonnes of food. We're also going to take on some fuel," he said.

The ship will also pick up 165 Canadian soldiers from the Royal 22nd Regiment, known as the Van Doos. 

"The soldiers will spend the night sleeping on the helicopter deck, essentially, until the ship gets to Haiti tomorrow," said Gordon.

The Athabaskan left its home port of Halifax on Jan. 14, two days after the 7.0-magnitude quake levelled Haiti and killed an estimated 200,000 people. It has been off Léogâne, a small city that had about 90 per cent of its buildings demolished in the quake.

The frigate HMCS Halifax is off Jacmel, about 30 kilometres southwest of Port-au-Prince.