Seaspan Shipyards, Canada’s long-term, shipbuilding partner for large non-combat vessels under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, and the Canadian Coast Guard on Nov. 25 reached an important milestone in the construction of the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV).
The OOSV is expected to be delivered in 2025 and would be able to respond to the Government of Canada’s oceanographic scientific research requirements for the next 30 years. Over the next three years, more than 700 Seaspan employees and hundreds more in the company’s cross-Canada supply chain are expected to work on the 88-meter-long (288.7-foot) vessel.
The Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) will be Canada’s most modern science research ship. It can accommodate up to 34 crew and 26 scientists.
The vessel is to be outfitted with specialized equipment that includes several advanced wet and dry labs, an ocean 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.
For the keel laying ceremony for the OOSV, Seaspan hosted Joyce Murray, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, along with Coast Guard representatives.
The keel laying is a significant milestone in a ship’s construction, during which a coin is placed near the keel, where it will remain for the duration of the ship’s life. The coin is said to bring good luck to the builders and all those who sail in the vessel.
On this occasion, the coin created to commemorate the Coast Guard’s 60th anniversary was placed near the keel to honor the Guard’s nationwide service to Canadians.
“This OOSV will deliver much-needed fleet capability for the (Coast Guard) and an oceanographic science platform for a broad range of Canadian Government departments and scientists,” Seaspan said in a statement. “It will support a wide range of oceanographic, fishery, geological and hydrographic survey missions. These missions will advance scientific knowledge about the oceans, the seabed and the impacts of climate change, and help lead to healthier, more sustainable ocean ecosystems.”
Equipped with the latest scientific research apparatus, the floating laboratory is to be outfitted with specialized equipment that includes several advanced wet and dry labs, an ocean 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.
The ship would also perform search and rescue operations and environmental response as needed by the Coast Guard.
“Today’s milestone means Canadian Coast Guard personnel and Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists are once again looking forward to state-of-the-art equipment to carry on their critical work for the benefit of all Canadians,” Murray said. “The new OOSV will serve as the main platform for ocean science to help us understand and chart our seabed, protect our marine environment, and restore the health of our oceans.”
In a statement, Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Mario Pelletier said that as the Canadian Coast Guard’s 60th anniversary celebrations are still ongoing, he finds it very fitting to have a keel laying for the future Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel.
“Our past has been celebrated throughout the year, and today we look forward to the OOSV navigating the future of oceanographic science work in Canada,” he said. “I wish good fortune to all who will come aboard this vessel in the future.”
Seaspan Shipyards Chief Executive Officer John McCarthy said that through the company’s partnership with the Government of Canada on the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Seaspan was “proud to contribute to our country’s sovereignty, economy and self-sufficiency.”
“With the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel, we are progressing through construction of the third fleet of NSS vessels Seaspan will build, and we are delivering on our commitment to rebuilding a strong marine industry in Canada,” he stated.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) is Canada’s multi-decade program to renew the federal vessel fleet and create economic impact and employment opportunities across the country. Seaspan is Canada’s long-term strategic shipbuilding partner under Canada’s NSS, building the non-combat vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.
The keel laying ceremony was held at Vancouver Shipyards, a Seaspan subsidiary that builds, repairs and performs maintenance on ships and barges.