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Canada receives final interim medium icebreaker

Converted medium icebreaker
Photo: Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard has commissioned its third and final medium icebreaker it bought second-hand in 2018.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Vincent Massey was delivered to the CCG on October 17 upon completion of conversion work by Chantier Davie in Lévis, Quebec.

CCGS Vincent Massey joins the fleet of medium icebreakers that serve to keep Eastern Canada’s waterways open and safe throughout the winter months. It will operate from its homeport in Québec City, Québec, beginning with the upcoming icebreaking season.

The conversion and refit for the CCGS Vincent Massey included increasing the crew accommodation capacity, adding a heavy lift crane, increasing icebreaking capability and ship endurance. As well, work was required to meet Coast Guard operational and Canadian regulatory requirements.

The CCGS Vincent Massey is also equipped to support aids to navigation and provide emergency services such as search and rescue and environmental response.

In August 2018, the Canadian Coast Guard purchased three medium commercial icebreakers through Chantier Davie. In preparation for service, all three vessels underwent refit and conversion work at Chantier Davie. These ships were acquired to ensure the continuation of essential icebreaking services in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, as well as the Arctic, during vessel life extension and repair periods to the existing fleet.

The CCGS Molly Kool and CCGS Jean Goodwill have been in service since 2018 and November 2020, respectively. The three former Norwegian harsh-environment offshore support vessels are expected to provide 15 to 20 years of service.

“In welcoming the arrival of the CCGS Vincent Massey into our icebreaker fleet, we mark the steady progress of vessel procurement and renewal under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. With the delivery of these essential vessels, the federal government demonstrates our commitment to the Canadian Coast Guard and its dedicated personnel, by providing the equipment they need to protect Canadian waters and keep mariners safe,” Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, commented.