Marine Link
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Seaspan Shipyards Begins Building Canada's New Research Ship

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 29, 2021

The Canadian Coast Guard’s Heather McDonald cuts the first steel at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard, marking the start of construction of Canada’s most modern science research ship. (Photo: Seaspan Shipyards)

The Canadian Coast Guard’s Heather McDonald cuts the first steel at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard, marking the start of construction of Canada’s most modern science research ship. (Photo: Seaspan Shipyards)

Canadian shipbuilder Seaspan Shipyards announced on Monday it has cut steel and started full-rate construction of the newest oceanographic science research vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The 88-meter Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) is being built under Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) at Seaspan’s multi-program Vancouver Shipyard concurrently with the first Joint Support Ship (JSS) for the Royal Canadian Navy.

The OOSV will support oceanographic, fishery, geological and hydrographic survey missions, replacing the CCGS Hudson due to retire in 2024. Hudson was Canada’s first ocean science vessel when it entered service in 1964 and is the longest serving ship in the Canadian Coast Guard fleet.

Described as a floating laboratory, the new OOSV will 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, which will accommodate up to 34 crew and 26 scientists, will also perform search and rescue operations and environmental response as needed.

(Image: Seaspan Shipyards) 

“After years of detailed planning and design, being able to move the ship off the page and into the hands of the shipbuilders who bring those designs to life adds a special energy and excitement to the shipyard. Congratulations to the Canadian Coast Guard, all of our partners and the team at Seaspan for getting us to this important milestone,” said Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards.

In keeping with current COVID-19-related restrictions on events and public gatherings, the OOSV steel cutting at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard was attended by a small team of employees and on-site representatives of the Canadian Coast Guard.

“Today’s steel cutting milestone is a great day for our environment, our economy, and for the more than 700 Canadian workers who will be meaningfully employed building this landmark vessel. The new OOSV will serve as the main platform for the Canadian Coast Guard’s ocean science work, which will help us better understand our ecosystems, protect our marine environment, and ensure the health of our oceans – all of which is essential to a strong, sustainable Blue Economy,” said Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.


“Investing in oceanographic research is critical to deepening our understanding of marine environments and the impacts of climate change on our oceans. I am incredibly proud that this vessel is being built here in North Vancouver by Seaspan Shipyards, which is an integral part of our local economy,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

“The start of construction of a new vessel under the National Shipbuilding Strategy is always a significant milestone toward the Government of Canada’s commitment to the renewal of the Coast Guard’s future fleet, the growing of our marine industry and the creation of jobs in communities throughout Canada. Congratulations to Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards and its workers on today’s steel cut for the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel,” said Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News