The Canadian Coast Guard has a wide range of responsibilities across Canada, including Icebreaking, Search and Rescue, Aids to Navigation, and Environmental Response, and relies on having the necessary equipment to carry out its work year-round. In August 2018, Chantier Davie of Levis, Quebec was awarded a $610 million dollar contract for the acquisition of three interim icebreakers for the Coast Guard.
Icebreakers are an essential component of the Coast Guard fleet, and provide icebreaking services to ensure safe navigation, prevent ice jams and flooding, and maintain shipping routes. From December to May, icebreakers operate in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes, and in the Arctic from May to November. They are equipped to support multiple Coast Guard programs, including Search and Rescue, Aids to Navigation, and Environmental Response.
The first of 3 new icebreakers has been named CCGS Captain Molly Kool. Myrtle Kool, known by everyone as Molly, was born in 1916 in Alma, New Brunswick. In 1939, she became the first woman in North America to attain the certification of Master of a Cargo Steamship in the Home Trade. At the time, this was one of the highest levels of qualification that could be achieved in the seagoing profession, with no limits on tonnage, power, or location where the vessel could operate in Canadian waters.
The CCGS Captain Molly Kool’s home port will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. This vessel will help ensure the continuation of Coast Guard services while other ships in the fleet undergo refits and vessel life extensions. The second and third vessels will further complement the fleet upon their acceptance in fall 2019 and summer 2020, respectively.
About the CCGS Captain Molly Kool
- The vessel measures 93.7 metres in length, and 18 metres in width. It is classed as a medium icebreaker, and can maintain a speed of 3 knots through ice up to 1 metre thick.
- CCGS Captain Molly Kool has a total of 18,278 horsepower, and is equipped with twin propellers and twin rudders behind, providing the vessel with a high degree of manoeuvrability.
- The ship has a cruising speed of 12 knots and a maximum speed of 16 knots.
- CCGS Captain Molly Kool can operate continuously without refueling for approximately 25 days, and has a crew of 19.
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