Two new High Endurance Self-Righting Search and Rescue Lifeboats, named CCGS McIntyre Bay and CCGS Pachena Bay, have arrived to join the Canadian Coast Guard fleet on the West Coast.
The arrival of the lifeboats was announced by Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, during a visit to Sidney, B.C. today (Dec. 14).
The new boats will enhance the critical marine search and rescue services provided by the Coast Guard in the region and helping to keep Canadians and our Canadian waters safe.
The Canadian Coast Guard informally refers to the lifeboats as “Bay Class”, as each one is named after a Canadian bay. The boats are 19-metre long, have a top speed of 25 knots in calm conditions, and can operate up to 100 nautical miles from shore. They are considered all-weather vessels, with the ability to operate in hurricane force conditions, and will right themselves should they capsize.
CCGS McIntyre Bay will be deployed to Prince Rupert, B.C. in 2019, and CCGS Pachena Bay will be deployed to Port Hardy, B.C. in 2019.
The two new search and rescue lifeboats are the third and fourth of 20 such vessels being built under the Federal Infrastructure Initiative, the Fleet Renewal Plan and the Oceans Protection Plan. The Coast Guard has already taken delivery of CCGS Baie de Plaisance, which will be stationed in Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and CCGS Pennant Bay, which will be stationed in Atlantic Canada.
“The Government of Canada will continue to provide the Canadian Coast Guard with the equipment it needs to ensure the safety of mariners, and to protect the marine environment. Our investment in these new Bay Class search and rescue lifeboats is enhancing the essential marine search and rescue services we provide in Canada’s waters every day, while supporting and promoting Canada’s marine industry”, said the Minister.
The Canadian Coast Guard leads the maritime component of the federal Search and Rescue system through distress monitoring, coordination of maritime incidents, and by providing assistance to disabled vessels and those in distress on the water.
Chantier Naval Forillon won a $45.8 million contract in July 2015 to build six new lifeboats. This contract created 25 new jobs for workers at the Chantier Naval Forillon Inc in Gaspé, Quebec, as well as sustaining approximately 35 jobs at the shipyard. Hike Metal Products won a $43.4 million contract in July 2015 to build six new vessels. This contract created and sustained 45 jobs for workers at Hike Metal Products in Wheatley, Ontario.
On December 6, 2018, Public Services and Procurement Canada announced contracts for the construction of eight new lifeboats, bringing the total to 20 new vessels for the Coast Guard.
Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working with Indigenous and coastal communities and marine stakeholders to help keep Canadian waters and coasts safe and clean for today and into the future.