The CCGS Norman McLeod Rogers was launched in 1968 came from the east coast of Canada in 1990 where she worked out of the Victoria Coast Guard Base. She was declared surplus in 1994. Chile bought the vessel in December 1994 and served in her Navy as the “Almirante Oscar Viel” for twenty two years.

John Constable was the lead man on the coast during the transfer and received these photos from her first captain, Mario Escobar, showing her decommissioning ceremony. There is some reminiscing of her crew, although in Portuguese Spanish, one can sense she was a happy ship.

From Mario Escobar the skipper who took her to Chile.

Dear John:
It´s a little late to take contact after so long time; but…. never is to late. Month ago I recieved two nice invitations, the firts to participate in the ceremony for the retirement of AP OSCAR VIEL, and the second was to sail on bord O.VIEL from Punta Arenas to Talcahuano ( our main Naval Base and Navy Shipyard). I did accept both.
To be again on bord the icebreaker was really a very nice experience. I
was atended during that 5 days better than Prince Charles on board
the HMS BRITANIA. That was 3 weeks ago. Then I have the opportunity to
reread the Ship´s record book. In the book is written with good detail,
from the moment you show us the ship on January 12th 1995 up to the
arrival to Valparaíso on February 16th. Was a long trip but I feel
very proud because my people make it very well, we arrived by our self
(her self).
John, at the begining with the actual Comanding Officer ( and the
Last), we thought the possibility to invite you for the ceremony,
but after few seconds we realised that will be a simple and short
ceremony with most of the formers Comanding Officer.
But I can ensure you will be present in the speech. 1995 was a very busy year for me, after the arrival to Valparaíso I was involved in the repair, navalize, and trainining of the crew and then we made two trips to the Antartica at the end of this year, after that I was retired from the Navy.
But never is so late for say THANKS YOU VERY MUCH. The useful and
valuable help from your and your Service and also the friendly
camaraderie of the Canadian Navy ( especially Admiral JOHNSTON )were
very important factor for the successful result of my task.
I will never forget when you obtain a life boat and said me: ¨Mario
I got that boat for you , you can´t departure without one, it is my

Well John , I hope I will be less lazy the next time. I´ll send you some pictures of the ceremony, I promise. Perhaps, you would like to send a small message to be read during the ceremony, that will be very appreciate by the Comanding officer and for everyone, of course
Dear John , thank you again, I´ll be in touch

Mario Escobar

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