ARCHIVED - 5  Fleet Renewal

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Our Assets

Fleet is responsible for the provision of safe, reliable and operational ships, air cushion vehicles and helicopters with competent, professional crews to respond to the on-water requirements of Coast Guard and DFO as well as other government departments and agencies. In order to maintain the capacity to provide service 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, as of March 31, 2011 the fleet was composed of 118 vessels, including four air cushion vehicles, and 22 helicopters.

Figure 2: Distribution of Vessels by Region, as of March 31, 2011

Pacific Region: 7 Large Vessels, 9 Small Vessels, 2ACVs, 13 Search and Rescue Lifeboats, 6 Helicopters; Central and Arctic Region: 5 Large Vessels, 9 Small Vessels, 11 Search and Rescue Lifeboat, 2 Helicopters; Quebec Region: 8 Large Vessels, 5 Small Vessels, 2 CVs, 7 Search and Rescue Lifeboats, 6 Helicopters; Maritimes Region: 6 Large Vessels, 8 Small Vessels, 10 Search and Rescue Lifeboats, 4 Helicopters; and, Newfoundland and Labrador: 10 Large Vessels, 2 Small Vessels, 4 Search and Rescue Lifeboats, 4 Helicopters.

New Acquisitions

The Government of Canada and the Coast Guard are committed to renewing the fleet. Through the Coast Guard Investment Plan, the Fleet Investment Plan and the Economic Action Plan, Fleet has replaced a number of vessels over the past few years. During 2010–2011, Fleet acquired two new vessels, and one helicopter, a Bell 212, which was registered to Coast Guard on March 30, 2010 but only came into service on June 16, 2010.

New Vessels in 2010–2011

CCGS Viola M. Davidson

CCGS Viola M. Davidson is an aluminum Coast Guard specialty vessel that was constructed along with the twin vessel, CCGS Kelso, for Fisheries Research by ABCO Industries Limited of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Launched on March 3, 2010, CCGS Viola M. Davidson was dedicated on September 23, 2010 and entered service with the Saint Andrews Biological Station on the shore of Passamaquoddy Bay in New Brunswick. Built to replace Pandalus III at Saint Andrews Biological Station, CCGS Viola M. Davidson has enabled Fleet to support scientific work in coastal areas and up to the middle of the Bay of Fundy every day of the year.

CCGS Viola M. Davidson, Specialty Vessel
CCGS Viola M. Davidson, Specialty Vessel

CCGS Cap Perce

After serving as a training vessel with the Coast Guard College since 2005, the state-of-the-art, Cape Class design Search and Rescue lifeboat CCGS Cap Perce, constructed by Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. in Victoria, British Columbia, was transferred in September to the Québec region to support its Search and Rescue program. It was then transferred to the Kégaska Station, located on Québec's north shore, and officially came into service on June 24, 2010. Primarily intended for Search and Rescue operations, CCGS Cap Perce's area of operation encompasses the waters between Natashquan, Québec, and Harrington Harbour, Québec.

Vessels under Construction

Fleet also had a number of vessels that either began or continued construction in 2010–2011. As part of the Fleet Renewal Plan and the Economic Action Plan, Fleet received substantial funding and a great opportunity to replace the capacity of aging vessels.

Search and Rescue Lifeboats – Cape Class Design

By March 2011, construction of five new Cape Class vessels was nearing completion in Victoria Shipyards, British Columbia: CCGS Cape Rescue (Central and Arctic region), CCGS Cap Aupaluk (Québec region), CCGS Cape Dauphin, CCGS Cape Naden and CCGS Cape Palmerston (Pacific region). These new ships were funded by Canada's Economic Action Plan and, once in service, will be dedicated to increasing Fleet's Search and Rescue capability.

CCGS Cap Aupaluk, SAR Lifeboat
CCGS Cap Aupaluk, SAR Lifeboat

Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessels

Also funded by Canada's Economic Action Plan, construction continued on three Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessels: CCGS Vladykov, CCGS M. Perley and CCGS Leim. These vessels will be dedicated to DFO's Oceans Science program.

Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels

Finally, construction continued as planned on two Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels: CCGS Private Robertson V.C. and CCGS Corporal Kaeble V.C. These are the first of nine Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels to be delivered, and are expected to be in operation with Fleet by 2013. These vessels will form Canada's new "Hero Class" of vessels and will be named after heroic Canadians who put their duty ahead of their safety in service to their country. They will be named CCGS Corporal Kaeble V.C., CCGS Private Robertson V.C., CCGS Corporal Teather C.V., CCGS Constable Carrière, CCGS G. Peddle, CCGS Corporal McLaren M.M.V., CCGS A. LeBlanc, CCGS M. Charles and CCGS Captain Goddard M.S.M.

Decommissioned Assets

When vessels and helicopters reach or surpass their useful life, they are decommissioned by Coast Guard. Decommissioned vessels are usually sold as a whole, but can also be sold for parts or recycled. In 2010–2011, two Coast Guard vessels were decommissioned: CCGS Pandalus III and CCGS Shark. Additionally, CCGS Wilfred Templeman and CCGS Nahidik were not used for any programs and were declared surplus in 2010–2011. Finally, Fleet disposed of one helicopter in 2010–2011, the CG 253, a Sikorsky S-61.

CCGS Pandalus III, Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessel, a decommissioned asset
CCGS Pandalus III, Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessel, a decommissioned asset
Photo: A. Jones

Chartered Vessels

Demand for Fleet services is consistently high and continually increasing. In some cases, the number and/or configuration of available vessels is not sufficient for Fleet to deliver programs in a timely fashion. When this occurs, Fleet relies on the practice of chartering private vessels. Chartered vessels are fully configured, equipped, operated and crewed by Fleet personnel.

For the past five years, Fleet has chartered CCGS Cape Mariner IV, a specialty vessel dedicated to the Conservation and Protection program under Ecosystems and Fisheries Management. Because of its own operational requirements, the owner of the ship had to reclaim CCGS Cape Mariner IV in May 2010. CCGS Cape Mariner IV was eventually replaced by CCGS Kode and Kin, which came into service in November 2010. Like CCGS Cape Mariner IV, CCGS Kode and Kin operates out of Saint John, New Brunswick and serves the Maritimes region.

CCGS Cap Perce, SAR Lifeboat
CCGS Cap Perce, SAR Lifeboat

New Search and Rescue Station in Kégaska, Québec

On January 19, 2009, the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced that a new Search and Rescue station would be created in Kégaska, Québec. Kégaska is a remote village of approximately 130 residents located on Québec's north shore. It is accessible only by plane, boat, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle. However, because of the presence of heavy commercial fisheries activities, pleasure craft and commercial maritime traffic, the location was deemed a strategic one for a Search and Rescue station. CCGS Cap Perce was assigned to the station and began operations on June 24, 2010.