New ship means ‘career opportunity’ for captain | Spare News


SAINT JOHN • The CCGS Shediac Bay is now tasting the waters of the Bay of Fundy to save lives.

The brand new search and rescue boat was introduced to the Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue Station Saint John on Tuesday afternoon. The boat, capable of maintaining speeds of up to 25 knots, will be driven up to 100 nautical miles from shore and can handle emergency alerts, according to a federal government press release.

“Commissioning a new vessel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it’s very special for me and my crew,” said Capt. Mike Smith, Commanding Officer of CCGS Shediac Bay, during a handover ceremony. inauguration Tuesday for the new ship.

Smith has worked for the Canadian Coast Guard for 15 years and has sailed on a dozen boats. Originally from Halifax, Smith says he’s thrilled to be on the new machine.

“It smells like the new boat,” he said.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he added. “It’s a very beautiful boat, very efficient.”

He and his crew are proud to serve historic Saint John, Smith said, adding that he moved to the city with his family in 2019 and intended “to be here for a while.”

Shediac Bay’s four-member crew consists of a captain, engineer and two deckhands, with one of the two deckhands being a trained rescue specialist. They are stationed at the Saint John train station and respond to distress calls, he said, but also patrol during “high risk seasons”.

Each year, the Canadian Coast Guard says it responds to more than 6,000 calls for marine assistance, ranging from on-water searches to responding to distress and assistance calls from other vessels, the statement said. On a typical day, the Coast Guard can “coordinate the response to 19 search and rescue incidents, assist 68 people and save 18 lives,” the statement added.

The CCGS Shediac Bay replaces the CCGS Courtenay Bay, the latter retiring after approximately 22 years of service.

In May, the Canadian government acquired the CCGS Shediac Bay – one of 20 new SAR lifeboats “dedicated to service” and “named after geographic bays across Canada,” according to the release.

Several Coast Guard guests and families attended the new ship’s dedication ceremony on Tuesday afternoon. The opening and closing prayers were performed by Elder Chris Brooks of Sitansisk Wolastoqiyik (St. Mary’s First Nation) and Senator Jim Quinn, who as the ship’s sponsor gave a speech and performed the ceremonial ritual of breaking a bottle at the bow of the ship.

Gary Ivany, assistant commissioner for the Atlantic region of the Canadian Coast Guard, said these search and rescue boats are “important tools in the community.” Crews “work 24/7”, he added, responding to distress calls within 30 minutes and being relieved by another crew every two weeks.

The CCGS Shediac Bay is expected to have a service life of more than 20 years, Ivany said.

In the statement, Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said the new search and rescue vessels will ensure that “crews have state-of-the-art equipment to help ensure the safety of Canadians on the Water”.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.


Comments are closed.