The Canadian Coast Guard’s second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV), the future CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier, began her sea trials on Oct. 10 as scheduled, Seaspan Shipyards announced.
The vessel was launched during a ceremony at Seaspan’s North Vancouver Shipyards (VSY) on June 5 this year. Since then, the ship was undergoing final outfitting, set to work and commissioning at VSY.
Sea trials mark the final major phase in a shipbuilding project before delivery. Sea Trials are conducted to ensure that the ship operates as she was designed to and that all systems are fully operational. This includes mechanical, electrical, hydraulics, fishing and laboratory, communications, navigation, as well as fire and safety systems.
The trials will be largely conducted in the Strait of Georgia as part of a continuous 15-day exercise. Upon completion of the trials, the future Capt. Jacques Cartier will be moored at Ogden Point on Vancouver Island to prepare the vessel for delivery to the Canadian Coast Guard, which is scheduled for later this year. The vessel’s homeport will be in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
“With the future Capt. Jacques Cartier headed out to sea today, excitement in our NSS program is growing. I want to thank all our employees, partners and most especially our Coast Guard community for your teamwork and dedication in achieving this major milestone. We are looking forward to delivering this second vessel to the Coast Guard later this year, which will enable them to do their critical work focused on the protection, preservation, and conservation of Canada’s coastal waters”, said Mark Lamarre, the CEO of Seaspan Shipyards.
This milestone on the second OFSV follows two other significant events that have occurred in the last five months, the delivery of the first OFSV, the CCGS Sir John Franklin on June 27. and the structural completion on the third OFSV, the future CCGS John Cabot.
The three OFSV vessels were ordered on 19 October 2011 by the Canadian government under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) for offshore fisheries research. The vessels are intended to replace the aging CCGS Teleost, CCGS W.E. Ricker and CCGS Alfred Needler.
The OFSVs have a length of 63.4 m (208 ft) and a displacement of 3,212 metric tons (3,161 long tons; 3,541 short tons). They are equipped with the latest equipment to support vital science and research work for the Department and Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Coast Guard, including monitoring Canada’s marine ecosystems and supporting search and rescue missions along its coasts.
The first OFSV, CCGS Sir John Franklin, is the first large vessel to be built and delivered under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). She is now undergoing Crew Training and Sea Readiness activities with her crew in advance of full operational deployment in early December. The vessel’s home port is in Patricia Bay, British Columbia.
The future CCGS John Cabot is on track for launch in early 2020 and is expected to join Coast Guard’s operations in summer 2020. She will be based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.