Royal Canadian Navy announces Ship’s Sponsor for HMCS Max Bernays

News release

May 17, 2022 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Shannon Bernays as the Ship’s Sponsor for the third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Max Bernays, which was named after her grandfather. Chief Petty Officer Max Bernays was a Canadian naval hero who served as the Coxswain of HMCS Assiniboine during the Second World War’s Battle of the Atlantic.

Each of the six AOPS being delivered to the RCN has been named in honour of a prominent Navy hero who served their country with the highest distinction. The other five ships are named Harry DeWolf, Margaret Brooke, William Hall, Frédérick Rolette, and Robert Hampton Gray.

The appointment of Ship’s Sponsor is a long and storied naval tradition. The Sponsor typically plays a key role in a ship’s naming ceremony, breaking a bottle of champagne across the ship’s bow. Many sponsors continue their relationship with their ship for many years.

The AOPS enable the RCN to conduct armed presence and surveillance operations throughout Canada’s waters, including in the Arctic. They also are capable of offshore international missions providing humanitarian assistance, emergency response and disaster relief.

The future HMCS Max Bernays is being constructed at Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Halifax. Recently, the ship was visited by the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, and is expected to be launched at a naming ceremony on May 29, 2022.


“I am delighted with the selection of Ms. Shannon Bernays as Sponsor for the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship that will be named after her grandfather, Chief Petty Officer Max Bernays, a hero of the Second World War. The future HMCS Max Bernays is the third of six Harry DeWolf-class ships being delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. These modern and multifunctional ships will be at the core of an enhanced Arctic presence, and their construction is helping to provide solid middle class jobs for Canadians.” 

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“I couldn’t be happier to see Ms. Shannon Bernays selected as Sponsor of the future HMCS Max Bernays. By naming this ship after her grandfather, Chief Petty Officer Max Bernays, we are recognizing the courage, dedication, and valour he demonstrated under fire. These attributes will help to inspire and galvanize each of the officers and sailors who serve in it in the years to come. Ms. Shannon Bernays will help to provide these sailors with a link to their ship’s namesake, and in so doing, will also help us to celebrate the heroism of her grandfather.”

Vice-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy 

Quick facts

  • The future HMCS Max Bernays, and the other ships of its class, will help to enhance the RCN’s ability to assert Canadian sovereignty in arctic and coastal Canadian waters, and support international operations as required.

  • First of Class ship HMCS Harry DeWolf conducted a transit of Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage before carrying on to contribute to Operation CARIBBE in the Caribbean Basin, all while completing a circumnavigation of North America on its first deployment in 2021. 

  • The AOPS were designed with a thick and robust hull that will enable them to operate in up to 120 cm of first-year sea ice. With its considerable space to efficiently transport cargo, the AOPS is also able to accommodate a Cyclone helicopter as well as small vehicles, deployable boats, and cargo containers. 

  • The ship’s modern facilities include gender-inclusive washrooms, individual crew accommodations, and the flexible use of common spaces, such as briefing rooms, all-rank cafeterias, mess halls, and fitness rooms, to serve as a silent space for prayer or meditation required for various religious practices. These modern accommodations on board the ship significantly improve the comfort and quality of life for its crew, which underscores our commitment to improved inclusivity and well-being for our personnel. 

  • Each of the RCN’s six AOPS will be affiliated with different regions of the Inuit Nunangat.

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Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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