Watch: CCGS Captain Molly Kool Welcomed to Fleet

By The Maritime Executive 05-31-2019 04:28:54

The Canadian Coast Guard has officially welcomed CCGS Captain Molly Kool to its fleet with the traditional breaking of a ceremonial bottle upon the ship’s bow on May 30.

The vessel is the first of three new icebreakers to join the Coast Guard fleet and the first in 25 years. 

The CCGS Captain Molly Kool is classed as a medium icebreaker, which can maintain a speed of three knots through ice up to one meter thick. The vessel has a total of 18,278 horsepower and its twin propellers and twin rudders provide a high degree of maneuverability. The CCGS Captain Molly Kool can operate continuously without refueling for approximately 25 days and has a crew of 19.

The CCGS Captain Molly Kool bears the name of the first woman in North America to be certified of Master of a Cargo Steamship in the Home Trade. This was one of the highest levels of qualification that could be achieved in the seagoing profession when Kool attained the designation in 1939. She was a pioneer who stepped outside the constraints of traditional gender roles and broke down barriers helping female mariners move out of the periphery and into the mainstream. 

This new vessel, like all icebreakers, will provide essential icebreaking services to ensure safe navigation, prevent ice jams and flooding, and 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. They are equipped to respond to search and rescue calls and to provide aids to navigation and environmental responses.

In August 2018, Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec was awarded a $610 million dollar contract for the acquisition of three interim icebreakers for the Coast Guard. The 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.

CCGS Captain Molly Kool was accepted into the Coast Guard fleet in December 2018. The second and third vessels will be accepted into service in late 2019 and summer 2020, respectively.

Earlier this month, a full fleet renewal program was announced with 18 new vessels to be built in Canada, in addition to the four already under order. To support future shipbuilding, the Government of Canada also announced the intention to add a third Canadian shipyard as a partner in the National Shipbuilding Strategy in addition to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and Irving Shipbuilding, to be selected through a competitive process.