Vancouver – It was a momentous day for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) when a keel laying ceremony was held on November 25 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.
(Photo from Canadian Coast Guard)