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Repairs for navy warship crept higher

HALIFAX - The shipyard that had done refit work for a navy warship before it was damaged while returning to Halifax says the repair bill had already cost $5 million more than expected before the vessel left its dock.

The Defence Department announced last February that Seaway Marine Inc. of St. Catharines, Ont., was awarded a $21.7 million contract to refit HMCS Athabaskan.

But Charles Payne, the company's president, says inspectors discovered more rust and damage than expected when they examined the 40-year-old destroyer.

Payne says the navy asked for more repairs, and the final bill came to $26.7 million.

He says the work went on almost two weeks longer than expected.

HMCS Athabaskan suffered damage to its hull while it was being towed back to Halifax and is now moored in Sydney, N.S.

The military is assessing that damage.

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