Canadian Coast Guard welcomes first medium icebreaker CCGS Captain Molly Kool

The first of three new Canadian Coast Guard medium icebreakers was handed over to the coast guard in a ceremony in British Columbia on December 14.

As noted during the ceremony, the CCGS Captain Molly Kool is also the first new Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker in twenty-five years.

The first ship will allow the Coast Guard to provide essential services during the upcoming winter season, while the other two undergo refit projects.

The namesake of the icebreaker, Captain Myrtle ‘Molly’ Kool, was the first woman in North America to become a master mariner. Myrtle Kool, known by everyone as Molly, was born in 1916 in Alma, New Brunswick. In 1937, she was the first woman in North America to become a licensed ship captain, and in 1939, was awarded her coastal master’s certificate.

All three medium icebreakers, recently acquired by the Coast Guard, will undergo refit and conversion work at Chantier Davie in Lévis, Québec, to ensure they comply with Canadian regulatory and Coast Guard operational standards before entering the fleet.

In August 2018, Chantier Davie of Levis, Quebec was awarded a $610 million dollar contract for the acquisition of the three interim icebreakers.

CCGS Captain Molly Kool is part of the national Coast Guard fleet which carries out icebreaking duties in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, and Arctic regions. This icebreaker is the latest Coast Guard asset deployed to help ensure the safety of Canadian waterways and those who rely on them, both for recreational and commercial purposes.

“Today, we are pleased to welcome CCGS Captain Molly Kool into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet,” Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, said at the ceremony. “This icebreaker will provide essential support to the shipping industry, while keeping Canadians safe along our waterways. Canadians can be proud of the men and women of our Coast Guard, and the important work they carry out from coast, to coast, to coast.”

CCGS Captain Molly Kool measures 93.7 meters in length, and has a beam of 18 meters. It is classified as a medium icebreaker, and can maintain a speed of 3 knots through ice up to 1 meter thick.

In addition to icebreaking, the ship will support other Coast Guard programs, such as search and rescue and environmental response.

Photo: Canadian Coast Guard photo of CCGS Captain Molly Kool