Third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel Built at Seaspan Shipyards Enters the Water at 97% Complete, Exceeding International Benchmarks for Completion at Launch and Reflecting Exceptional and Innovative Shipbuilding During Global Pandemic
North Vancouver, BC – On Friday, July 3, under strict COVID-19 public health requirements and protocols, Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, joined a small number of Seaspan Shipyards employees and special guests to break the customary bottle of champagne against the bow of the future CCGS John Cabot, officially launching the third state-of-the-art Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) for the Canadian Coast Guard.
The July launch of the future CCGS John Cabot is a particularly impressive achievement given that construction was completed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seaspan Shipyards significantly adapted its normal operations to continue building the ship while ensuring the health and well-being of employees, customers, partners and the community.
The traditional public celebration was scaled back to a skeleton launch party including Dr. Henry, Tsleil-Waututh elder Margaret George, representatives from the Canadian Coast Guard, and the handful of employees needed to launch the vessel.
Dr. Henry, who began her career as a medical officer with the Royal Canadian Navy, was invited by Seaspan to officially launch the vessel in recognition of her exceptional leadership and tireless efforts to keep British Columbians safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and to slow the spread of the virus in Canada. Video of Dr. Henry officially launching the ship, along with special messages from several government representatives and the Canadian Coast Guard, was released today.
More than 1,200 Seaspan Shipyards employees and more than 400 Canadian small and medium-sized companies and their thousands of employees across the country contributed to the construction of this world-class vessel, which entered the water on July 3 at 97% complete, a rare accomplishment and a high-water mark for the best shipbuilders in the world.
The CCGS John Cabot, the CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier and the CCGS Sir John Franklin are the first class of ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the Government of Canada’s strategy to renew the fleets of the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. Two ships have been delivered and the third launched from Seaspan’s Vancouver shipyard in just 13 months.
Consistent with the social and economic objectives of the NSS, Seaspan Shipyards has become a growing economic engine for the domestic marine industry. With more than $1.5 billion contributed to date to Canada’s GDP (Source: Deloitte Socio-economic Impact Study, February 2020), Seaspan Shipyards is rebuilding a marine industrial sector on Canada’s West Coast and generating economic impact across Canada through job creation and contracts with hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses. As a result of the NSS, Seaspan Shipyards has become one of the most modern shipyards in North America, with a skilled 2,700-person shipbuilding team and the shipyard capacity and purpose-built infrastructure to deliver Canada’s non-combat fleet.
“Congratulations to Seaspan on the launch of the future CCGS John Cabot, the third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard. Today’s launch marks an important milestone in the renewal of our Coast Guard fleet. Together, we’re ensuring that Canada has the ships we need to continue to keep mariners safe, protect our marine environment and provide a state-of-the-art platform for critical scientific research.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard
“This is a critical step and milestone in the process of delivering this vessel to the Canadian Coast Guard. The three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels, which were specifically designed and built in British Columbia, will enable Fisheries and Oceans and the Coast Guard to continue conducting and supporting critically important scientific and research work, including gaining more data on the impacts of climate change on our waters and marine environments.”
– The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
“The Seaspan Shipyards team is incredibly proud to launch the future CCGS John Cabot, our third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel. It is a great honour to have such an exceptional leader as Dr. Bonnie Henry help launch this ship. Her leadership and clarity gave us the confidence, in an unprecedented climate, to continue our operations safely, which led to today’s successful launch.”
– Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards
“It is an honour to be part of the launch of the CCGS John Cabot Canadian Coast Guard vessel, on which important research to protect our oceans will be undertaken for many years to come. For the Seaspan team to complete the construction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with all protective measures in place, is a testament to how British Columbians have done all they can to protect our province, while working to keep many important aspects of our economy going.”
– Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, Province of British Columbia
Quick Facts: CCGS John Cabot
- Measuring 63.4 metres, the CCGS John Cabot will be one of the most advanced and capable ships of its size and type in the world.
- CCGS John Cabot is the third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) built and launched by Seaspan Shipyards under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Her sister ships, the CCGS Sir John Franklin, now stationed in Victoria, British Columbia, and the CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier, stationed in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, are already in service.
- Following sea trials and upon delivery to the Coast Guard, anticipated later this summer, the CCGS John Cabot will be based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
- The OFSV is fully equipped to support Fisheries and Oceans scientists in the collection and analysis of data on Canada’s marine ecosystems and the impacts of climate change. This floating laboratory features a full suite of state-of-the-art systems, including a deployable sensor-laden drop keel, high-tech fishing trawls and four science labs — a wet lab, a dry lab, an ocean lab and a control lab.
- The OFSVs support scientific research through work such as:
- performing fishing and acoustic surveys of fish and invertebrates;
- collecting information on the abundance and distribution of marine species; and
- collecting data on marine ecosystems and the impacts of human activity on fisheries resources and ecosystem health.
- The OFSVs, although primarily focused on science and research, also have the capability to support search and rescue, and environmental response and operations as required.
ABOUT SEASPAN SHIPYARDS
Seaspan Shipyards is a leader in Canada’s shipbuilding and ship repair industry. With modern facilities and a dedicated workforce of 2,700 in North Vancouver and Victoria, the company has proven itself to be a trusted partner on a range of complex projects for both government and the private sector.
Seaspan Shipyards is proud to be Canada’s chosen non-combat shipbuilder under the NSS. In this capacity, the company is building state-of-the-art ships in Canada for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. Through its NSS-related work, Seaspan Shipyards is creating jobs, generating economic benefits and rebuilding Canada’s shipbuilding and marine industries.