In August 2018, the Government of Canada awarded a $610 million contract to Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec for the acquisition of three interim icebreakers. These three icebreakers were acquired to supplement the Coast Guard’s existing fleet during vessel life extension and repair periods, providing continuous on-water capability during scheduled maintenance periods.
Icebreakers are an essential component of the Coast Guard fleet. They provide icebreaking services to ensure safe navigation, to prevent ice jams and flooding, and to maintain shipping routes. From December to May, icebreakers operate in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes; and in the Arctic from May to November. In addition to icebreaking, these vessels are equipped to support multiple Coast Guard programs.
With this investment, the government is providing necessary enhanced support for the Coast Guard and their crucial work, including icebreaking services, providing vessel escorts, and commercial and fishing harbour breakouts. There is an overall increase in the demand for icebreaking services, and this addition to the fleet will support the response.
The first of these new icebreakers, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Captain Molly Kool, was accepted into service in 2018. The second and third vessels will further complement the fleet upon their acceptance in late 2019 and summer 2020, respectively.
Canadian Coast Guard Ship Captain Molly Kool
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Captain Molly Kool is named after the first woman in North America to attain the certification of Master of a Cargo Steamship in the Home Trade, and is the first icebreaker to bear the name of a female captain.
Classed as a medium icebreaker, the CCGS Captain Molly Kool can maintain a speed of 3 knots through ice up to 1 metre thick, with a cruising speed of 12 knots to a maximum speed of 16 knots. With a total of 18,278 horsepower, the CCGS Captain Molly Kool’s twin propellers and twin rudders provide a high degree of manoeuvrability. The ship can operate continuously without refueling for approximately 25 days, and has a crew of 19.
The CCGS Captain Molly Kool’s home port is St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.