Frigate deputy commander charged with drunkenness and disobeying orders

The former second-in-command of a Canadian warship has been charged with disobeying orders and drunkenness.

OTTAWA — The former second-in-command of a Canadian warship has been charged with disobeying orders and drunkenness.

Cmdr. Joshua Yanchus, who was the executive officer aboard HMCS Calgary, based in Esquimalt, B.C., was charged Monday by the military’s criminal investigation branch.

The offences are alleged to have taken place aboard the frigate on June 25, 2014, while the warship was taking part in a major U.S.-led exercise in the Pacific.

It is the second incident to come to light involving alleged bad behaviour by sailors involved in so-called Rimpac training, an annual international marine warfare exercise billed as the world’s largest.

Last summer, the coastal defence vessel HMCS Yukon was ordered home after three incidents of “personal misconduct” took place onshore in San Diego.

At least one of the incidents involved the arrest of a Canadian sailor by local police, and the other two incidents involved allegations of sexual misconduct and shoplifting.

Alcohol was thought to be a contributing factor in some of the cases.

The military did not release the circumstances of Yanchus, or when it will be dealt with by court martial.

Lt.-Cmdr. Mike Amirault, the deputy commander of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, said all members of the military are expected to conduct themselves in “an appropriate and professional manner at all times.”

Amirault said the charges are significant.

Last December, the commander of the Canadian navy ordered that sailors be banned from consuming alcohol aboard ships, unless the vessel is tied up or an exception has been made for a special occasion.

The navy also removed beer-dispensing machines that were at one time a fixture aboard warships.

In addition to instituting the ban, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman announced the service would develop a code of conduct for its members.

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