Government of Canada officially dedicates into service the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir John Franklin

News release

August 29, 2019

Sidney, BC — Today the Canadian Coast Guard officially named the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel CCGS Sir John Franklin during a dedication to service ceremony held at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, British Columbia.

This welcome celebration for the Canadian Coast Guard’s first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy was marked by an official naming ceremony, a First Nations blessing, and sponsorship, which included the traditional breaking of a ceremonial bottle on the ship’s bow.

By tradition, a civilian is invited to sponsor a vessel for its well-being and continued service, and to wish the vessel  “good luck”. The Canadian Coast Guard is proud to have Dr. Verena Tunnicliffe as the sponsor for the new ship. Dr. Tunnicliffe is an accomplished marine scientist and was the first woman to lead a deep sea science expedition on Canada’s West Coast.

The home port for the CCGS Sir John Franklin will be the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, British Columbia, where it will ensure that Fisheries and Oceans scientists are working with modern equipment to conduct vital work and data collection in support of our marine ecosystem. The vessel will also support environmental response and search and rescue operations, when needed.

The Government of Canada recently announced up to 18 new ships for the Coast Guard, confirmed it is revitalizing the shipbuilding industry, creating good, skilled jobs, and ensuring that Canada’s marine services have the modern ships they need to fulfill their missions. The Government of Canada also announced on August 2, 2019, the construction of six new program icebreakers for the Coast Guard to replace its current aging fleet of icebreakers.


“It is a proud day for the Government of Canada, as the CCGS Sir John Franklin, the first of three new Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels, is officially welcomed into the Coast Guard fleet. This vessel signifies a momentous milestone for the Canadian shipbuilding industry and for the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This ship is built by Canadians for Canadians. With this vessel we are equipping the Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans scientists with the state-of-the-art tools and technology they need to complete their important work.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Days like today are an exciting time to be part of the Canadian Coast Guard. The CCGS Sir John Franklin is a welcome addition to our Western fleet, as it joins the roster on important missions to remote parts of the Pacific coast. Today’s official dedication to service is a proud moment for the women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard.”

Jeffery Hutchinson, Commissioner Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • CCGS Sir John Franklin is the first large vessel built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

  • The Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) are the first class of ships to be built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, as part of the non-combat package under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

  • The new OFSVs will replace existing Coast Guard ships on the east and west coasts of Canada that provide a platform from which critical scientific research can be performed.

  • The new vessels will support scientific research through work such as:

    • performing fishing and acoustic surveys of fish and invertebrates;
    • collecting information on the abundance and distribution of marine species; and,
    • collecting data on marine ecosystems and the impacts of human activity on fisheries resources and ecosystem health.
  • Ship names are selected under an official Canadian Coast Guard ship naming policy, which outlines criteria specific to the type of ship involved. All named vessels include the prefix identifying that they are Canadian Coast Guard ships (CCGS). The policy outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Canadian Coast Guard, the Department and the Minister.  Coast Guard ships are named prior to being accepted from the builder and being put into service.

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Jocelyn Lubczuk
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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