Keel Laid on Canadian Coast Guard’s Newest Science Vessel at Ceremony in Vancouver

News release

November 25, 2022                     

Vancouver, British Columbia - The Canadian Coast Guard plays an essential role in understanding our oceans, their sea beds and the impacts of climate change. This is why providing the Canadian Coast Guard personnel with the vessels they need to continue to deliver critical services to Canadians through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, is a priority for the Government of Canada.

Today was a momentous day for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) when a keel laying ceremony was held for the future Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV), being built at Seaspan’s Vancouver shipyard.

Traditionally, a keel laying marks the beginning of the construction of a ship, with the laying of the keel, a beam of timber that functions as the spine of the vessel. As shipbuilding modernized, and vessels trended toward being constructed as prefabricated modules, the keel laying has remained an important ceremonial event.

As part of the ceremonial event, Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, accompanied by Minister of Fisheries, Ocean and the Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, and John McCarthy, CEO of Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, placed a 60th anniversary coin in a cut-out near the keel where it will remain for the life of the vessel, and is thought to bring good luck to the ship and its crew.

Once delivered, this vessel will provide Canada the scientific capacity to better understand our oceans and their effect on the world’s ecosystems. Like all CCG ships, the vessel will also be equipped to assist in environmental response and search and rescue activities when needed.

The future OOSV is being built as part of the Government of Canada’s National shipbuilding strategy. The new ship will replace the CCGS Hudson which was decommissioned earlier this year.

The Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel, is the second class of Canadian Coast Guard vessel being built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards—critical steps in the renewal of the Coast Guard Fleet. The Oceanographic Vessel will support the Government of Canada’s next 30-plus years of cutting edge scientific research that will help inform decisions about protecting our fisheries, oceans and coastal areas.

As Canada’s most modern science research ship, the OOSV, will be able to accommodate up to 34 crew and 26 scientists. The OOSV will be outfitted with specialized equipment that includes several advanced wet and dry labs, an ocean water sampling room, a scientific seawater system for studying oxygen levels, temperature and salinity, and a state-of-the-art drop keel and sensor suite for collecting and analyzing data on everything from water current velocities to underwater acoustics.

Quotes

“Today’s milestone means the Canadian Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists are looking forward to new state-of-the-art equipment to carry on their critical work for the benefit of all Canadians. The new OOSV will serve as the main platform for ocean science to help us understand and chart our seabed, protect our marine environment, and restore the health of our oceans. Congratulations to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard workers as they reach this important milestone for this new ship.”

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

“Today’s ceremony demonstrates our government’s commitment to harnessing science and research to address climate change, natural disasters, and other issues that directly impact Canadians, while ensuring that Canada’s shipbuilding industry continues to provide great economic opportunities for Canadians.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Today’s keel-laying ceremony celebrates another key milestone in our commitment to providing the Canadian Coast Guard with modern vessels to do their important work. Keel-related traditions from the times of wooden ships are said to bring luck to the ship during construction. The construction of the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel demonstrates how the National Shipbuilding Strategy is delivering on its mandate to revitalize Canada’s shipbuilding industry.”  

The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

"Through our partnership with the Government of Canada on the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Seaspan is proud to contribute to our country's sovereignty, economy and self-sufficiency. With the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel, we are progressing onto construction of the third fleet of NSS vessels Seaspan will build, and we are delivering on our commitment to rebuilding a strong marine industry in Canada. Today's construction milestone reflects the dedication and resiliency of all the talented and dedicated Seaspan employees and supply chain partners across Canada. I am incredibly proud of how we kept moving forward and continued to deliver throughout the global pandemic – adapting, innovating and applying the lessons of our culture of continuous improvement."

John McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards

“As the Canadian Coast Guard’s 60th anniversary celebrations are still ongoing, I find it very fitting to have a keel laying for the future Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel. Our past has been celebrated throughout the year, and today we look forward to the OOSV navigating the future of oceanographic science work in Canada. I am very honoured and proud to represent the Canadian Coast Guard in this generational event. I wish good fortune to all who will come aboard this vessel in the future."

Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel is expected to be delivered in 2025 and will be able to respond to the Government of Canada's oceanographic scientific research requirements for the next 30+ years.

  • The vessel’s science space includes:

    • General Purpose Lab
    • Acoustics Lab
    • Computer Lab
    • Chemical Lab
    • Sea Water Sampling Area
    • Salinity Lab
    • Ocean Sampling Room
    • Marine Mammal Observation Station

     

  • The vessel’s science space includes:

    • Oceanographic Winch
    • Conductivity, Temperature, Depth (CTD) and Hydro Wire Launch And Recovery System (LARS)
    • Coring LARS
    • Stern A-Frame
    • Main and Secondary Cranes
    • Towing Booms
    • Seismic Compressors
    • Drop Keel and Sonars/Sensors
    • Modular Working Deck 

     

  • Over the next three years, the project will support several hundred shipyard jobs as well hundreds more throughout the Canadian marine industry supply chain.

  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) is Canada’s multi-decade program to renew the federal fleet and create economic impact and employment opportunities across the country. Seaspan is Canada’s long-term strategic shipbuilding partner under Canada’s NSS building the non-combat vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Associated links

Contacts

Kevin Lemkay
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard
613-992-3474
Kevin.Lemkay@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
604-666-1746

media.pac@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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