Seaspan-built Coast Guard ship starts sea trials

CCGS John Cabot exits Vancouver Harbour through the First Narrows | Photo supplied: Seaspan

If you see a big red boat doing donuts on the English Bay this week, no need to call the port authority. It’s just Seaspan and the Canadian Coast Guard testing out the newest ship in the fleet.

CCGS John Cabot began 10 days of sea trials on Aug. 18 after the vessel's launch from the North Vancouver shipyard last month.

“Sea trials mark the final major phase in a shipbuilding project before delivery. Over the next 10 days, the ship will be put through its paces during rigorous full-scale exercises where specialists from Seaspan Shipyards, representatives from the Coast Guard, and key equipment suppliers will conduct a series of performance and seaworthiness tests,” a release from the company stated.

The tests will ensure the ship’s mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, laboratory, navigation and safety systems are all good to go before the ship is handed over to the Coast Guard.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was invited to smash the ceremonial bottle of champagne on CCGS John Cabbot’s bow when it was launched on July 3.

It is the third offshore fisheries science vessel built by Seaspan Shipyards since the company was selected under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, and the first one launched under COVID-19 protocols.

“Moving from launch to sea trials in record time, particularly during a global pandemic, is a testament to the incredible talent and determination of the Seaspan Shipyards team, and intense collaboration and teamwork from our supply chain partners and the Canadian Coast Guard. Together, we are moving from strength to strength and demonstrating dramatic productivity and efficiency improvements with each ship delivered,” said Mark Lamarre, Seapsan CEO, in the release. “These are exactly the outcomes intended by the architects of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, and they are the hallmarks of a modern shipyard that is firing on all cylinders.”

The company intends to hand the 63-metre John Cabot over to the Coast Guard in September. It will then sail to St. John’s, Nfld. where it will be put to use in government studies on fishing and acoustic surveys of fish and invertebrates populations, and monitoring marine ecosystems and the impacts of human activities on them.

North Shore News