Canadian Coast Guard’s third new OFSV enters water

The Canadian Coast Guard has launched its third offshore fisheries science vessel (OFSV), the future CCGS John Cabot, at Seaspan Shipyards in Vancouver.

The small ceremony was held under strict COVID-19 public health requirements and protocols on 3 July 2020.

As explained, the launch of the future CCGS John Cabot is “a particularly impressive achievement” given that construction was completed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seaspan Shipyards significantly adapted its normal operations to continue building the ship while ensuring the health and well-being of employees, customers, partners and the community.

More than 1,200 Seaspan Shipyards employees and more than 400 Canadian small and medium-sized companies and their thousands of employees across the country contributed to the construction of this vessel, which entered the water at 97% complete, exceeding international benchmarks for completion at launch.

The CCGS John Cabot, the CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier and the CCGS Sir John Franklin are the first class of ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the Government of Canada’s strategy to renew the fleets of the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. Two ships have been delivered and the third launched from Seaspan’s Vancouver shipyard in just 13 months.

“Congratulations to Seaspan on the launch of the future CCGS John Cabot, the third offshore fisheries science vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard. Today’s launch marks an important milestone in the renewal of our Coast Guard fleet. Together, we’re ensuring that Canada has the ships we need to continue to keep mariners safe, protect our marine environment and provide a state-of-the-art platform for critical scientific research,” Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, commented.

“This is a critical step and milestone in the process of delivering this vessel to the Canadian Coast Guard. The three offshore fisheries science vessels, which were specifically designed and built in British Columbia, will enable Fisheries and Oceans and the Coast Guard to continue conducting and supporting critically important scientific and research work, including gaining more data on the impacts of climate change on our waters and marine environments,” Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, said.

Measuring 63.4 metres, the CCGS John Cabot will be one of the most advanced and capable ships of its size and type in the world.

Following sea trials and upon delivery to the coast guard, anticipated later this summer, the CCGS John Cabot will be based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The OFSV is fully equipped to support Fisheries and Oceans scientists in the collection and analysis of data on Canada’s marine ecosystems and the impacts of climate change. This floating laboratory features a full suite of systems, including a deployable sensor-laden drop keel, high-tech fishing trawls and four science labs — a wet lab, a dry lab, an ocean lab and a control lab.

The OSFVs support scientific research through work such as performing fishing and acoustic surveys of fish and invertebrates; collecting information on the abundance and distribution of marine species; and collecting data on marine ecosystems and the impacts of human activity on fisheries resources and ecosystem health.

The ships, although primarily focused on science and research, also have the capability to support search and rescue, and environmental response and operations as required.

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