RV David Thompson - Parks Canada’s New Research Vessel                       


Getting to know RV David Thompson

RV David Thompson, Parks Canada’s new research vessel, will be the main platform for the on-going exploration of the shipwrecks of the 1845 Franklin Expedition. Parks Canada’s upcoming work on HMS Erebus and HMS Terror will be one of the largest and most important underwater archaeological undertakings in Canadian history. 

In addition, RV David Thompson will expand Parks Canada’s capacity to conduct marine science and underwater archaeology work, such as sea floor mapping, research on the impacts of climate change, and the investigation of other shipwrecks and archaeological sites in all three oceans and the Great Lakes. 

Quick Facts

·  Has valuable work and lab space for Parks Canada research.
·  Accommodations for 9 researchers and 5 crew.
·  29 meters long, 228 tonnes steel-hulled ship.
·  Launched in 1992, was originally a mid-shore fishery patrol vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard.
·  Equipped with a crane, work boat, fresh water maker, a sewage treatment plant, and satellite communications.

Potential Research Summer 2018

On its maiden voyage, RV David Thompson will travel from Victoria, along the Pacific coast and through the Northwest Passage, to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site. Along the journey, Parks Canada’s Underwater Archeology Team will contribute their skills and expertise, and the unique capacities of the RV David Thompson, to scientific and archaeological research being conducted at various national parks and national historic sites. 

This may include:
·   Investigating other archaeological sites along the west coast and in the Arctic.
·   Gathering hydrographic data and participating in climate change research.

Who was David Thompson?

David Thompson was an explorer and cartographer renowned for his fortitude and indomitable spirit - he was employed initially by the Hudson’s Bay Company then subsequently by the rival Northwest Company.  He is often described as the “greatest land geographer that ever lived” given his tireless efforts in surveying vast stretches of western Canada. David Thompson is recognised as a person of National Historic Significance.

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