Last of three new coast guard vessels handed over in Victoria

Seaspan Shipyards officially handed over CCGS John Cabot — the last of three offshore fisheries science vessels the shipyard has built — to the Canadian Coast Guard in Victoria on Friday.

The vessel, designed specifically for the coast guard and scientists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, joins CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier and CCGS Sir John Franklin, which are already in service.

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The Franklin, which was handed over to the coast guard in 2019, was the first newly built large ship in the coast guard fleet for 30 years. It was also the first large vessel designed and built under the federal government’s national shipbuilding strategy.

The Cabot, which will eventually be based in St. John’s, N.L., was launched by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in July, then went through six weeks of sea trials.

“CCGS John Cabot was completed, launched and delivered during a time like no other and this success is a tribute to the tremendous ingenuity, innovation and teamwork by our employees, suppliers and coast guard partners,” said Seaspan chief executive Mark Lamarre.

“It’s also a sign of how the [shipbuilding strategy] is accelerating industry momentum, enabling us to build not only ships but also a world-class pan-Canadian marine industry supply chain supporting thousands of jobs from coast to coast.”

The vessels include high-tech fishing trawls, laboratories and a deployable drop keel. They serve as platforms for DFO to monitor health of fish stocks and better understand the effects of climate change.

“This ship will ensure that our scientists continue to deliver important research work to better understand Canada’s marine ecosystems,” said Mario Pelletier, Canadian Coast Guard commissioner.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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