Canadian Coast Guard welcomes the CCGS Chignecto Bay into service

News release

September 2, 2022

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - The Canadian Coast Guard plays an essential role in ensuring the safety of mariners and protection of Canada’s marine environment. This is why providing Canadian Coast Guard personnel with the vessels they need to continue to deliver these critical services to Canadians through the National Shipbuilding Strategy is a priority for the Government of Canada.

Today, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, the Honourable Sean Fraser, officially welcomed CCGS Chignecto Bay to the Canadian Coast Guard fleet at the Search and Rescue station in Port Bickerton, Nova Scotia.

Minister Fraser, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, was joined by Andy Smith, Deputy Commissioner, Shipbuilding and Materiel, Gary Ivany, Assistant Commissioner Canadian Coast Guard Atlantic Region, elder Doreen Prosper, of Paqtnkek First Nation, and the Vessel Sponsor, Keith Horton participated in the traditional breaking of a ceremonial bottle upon the ship’s bow.

CCGS Chignecto Bay was acquired by the Government of Canada in May 2022. The vessel is the twelfth of 20 new search and rescue lifeboats that are named after geographical bays across Canada.

The lifeboats are specifically designed, equipped and crewed to respond to search and rescue incidents at sea. These vessels will operate up to 100 nautical miles from shore, maintain a maximum 30 minute state-of-readiness, and are typically ready to respond the moment an alert is received.

These vessels are being stationed across Canada to provide key search and rescue services including searches on the water, responding to marine distress response calls as well as assistance to disabled vessels. 


“This is an important step forward in the renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet; so I am delighted to welcome the CCGS Chignecto Bay into service. The National Shipbuilding Strategy will ensure that the Canadian Coast Guard’s search and rescue personnel have state-of-the-art equipment to keep Nova Scotians and all Canadians safe when they’re on the water.”

The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“When you’re raised in a coastal community that depends upon the ocean for its livelihood, you come to learn the importance of marine safety at an early age. This new vessel will carry on the proud work of the Canadian Coast Guard in providing the lifesaving marine search and rescue response that will protect our community members for a generation.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova

Quick facts

  • The CCGS Chignecto Bay is classed as a search and rescue lifeboat, which can maintain a speed up to 25 knots, and has a crew of four. 

  • The CCGS Chignecto Bay was accepted into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet in May 2022. This marks the twelfth search and rescue vessel delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. 

  • The series of 20 search and rescue vessels are being built by Chantier Naval Forillon (Gaspé, Quebec) and Hike Metal (Wheatley, Ontario) (10 per shipyard). 

  • The lifeboats are informally referred to as “Bay Class” vessels, as each one is named after a Canadian bay.

  • These shore-stationed self-righting lifeboats were built to: provide key search and rescue services, including:

    • conducting searches on water
    • responding to marine distress calls
    • providing assistance to disabled vessels
    • operate up to 100 nautical miles from shore
    • replace the Canadian Coast Guard’s existing search and rescue vessels
  • Each year, the Canadian Coast Guard responds to over 6,000 calls for marine assistance. On an average day, the Canadian Coast Guard coordinates the response to 19 search and rescue incidents, assists 68 people and saves 18 lives.

  • The new search and rescue lifeboats will contribute to Canada’s blue economy in keeping our waters safe for mariners and supporting environmental response operations to reduce the impacts of marine pollution in our waters. 

Associated links


Kevin Lemkay
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maritimes Region

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