New B.C. lifeboats headed here from Nova Scotia to be stationed at Tahsis, Hartley Bay

Two new Canadian Coast Guard search-and-rescue lifeboats that are now latched onto the deck of Atlantic Condor will be stationed in Tahsis and Hartley Bay after they arrive in Victoria in mid-March.

Atlantic Condor, owned by Atlantic Towing Ltd., pulled out of Dartmouth, N.S., with its cargo last week.

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Duties for the high-endurance lifeboats, CCGS Cadboro Bay and CCGS Florencia Bay, will include performing searches on the water, responding to marine distress calls and assisting disabled vessels.

They can also be used to carry out environmental response operations to reduce the impact of marine pollution in Canadian waters.

Each is 19 metres long and weighs 75 gross tonnes.

The lifeboats can travel 100 nautical miles offshore and right themselves if they capsize.

Their cruising speed is 14.5 knots and their top speed is 25 knots.

Tahsis, on Vancouver Island, and Hartley Bay, off the mainland coast, were earlier announced as two new search-and-rescue stations in B.C.

The lifeboats are among 20 being constructed under Canada’s national shipbuilding strategy. Called Bay Class vessels, each is named after a bay in Canada.

The Cadboro Bay was built at Chantier Naval Forillon in Gaspe, Que., and the Florencia Bay was constructed at Hike Metal Products Ltd. of Wheatley, Ont.

In 2015, the first contracts for 12 lifeboats, totalling $89.2 million were awarded. In 2018, the contracts for the remaining eight boats were awarded for more than $61 million.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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