Third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel built at Seaspan Shipyards enters the water at 97% complete, exceeding international benchmarks for completion at launch and reflecting exceptional and innovative shipbuilding during global pandemic.

On Friday, July 3, under strict COVID-19 public health requirements and protocols, Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, joined a small number of Seaspan Shipyards employees and special guests to break the customary bottle of champagne against the bow of the future CCGS John Cabot, officially launching the third state-of-the-art Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) for the Canadian Coast Guard.

The July launch of the future CCGS John Cabot is a particularly impressive achievement given that construction was completed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seaspan Shipyards significantly adapted its normal operations to continue building the ship while ensuring the health and well-being of employees, customers, partners and the community.

The traditional public celebration was scaled back to a skeleton launch party including Dr. Henry, Tsleil-Waututh elder Margaret George, representatives from the Canadian Coast Guard, and the handful of employees needed to launch the vessel.

Dr. Henry, who began her career as a medical officer with the Royal Canadian Navy, was invited by Seaspan to officially launch the vessel in recognition of her exceptional leadership and tireless efforts to keep British Columbians safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and to slow the spread of the virus in Canada.

More than 1,200 Seaspan Shipyards employees and more than 400 Canadian small and medium-sized companies and their thousands of employees across the country contributed to the construction of this world-class vessel, which entered the water on July 3 at 97% complete, a rare accomplishment and a high-water mark for the best shipbuilders in the world.

The CCGS John Cabot, the CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier and the CCGS Sir John Franklin are the first class of ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the Government of Canada’s strategy to renew the fleets of the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. Two ships have been delivered and the third launched from Seaspan’s Vancouver shipyard in just 13 months.

Consistent with the social and economic objectives of the NSS, Seaspan Shipyards has become a growing economic engine for the domestic marine industry. With more than $1.5 billion contributed to date to Canada’s GDP (Source: Deloitte Socio-economic Impact Study, February 2020), Seaspan Shipyards is rebuilding a marine industrial sector on Canada’s West Coast and generating economic impact across Canada through job creation and contracts with hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses. As a result of the NSS, Seaspan Shipyards has become one of the most modern shipyards in North America, with a skilled 2,700-person shipbuilding team and the shipyard capacity and purpose-built infrastructure to deliver Canada’s non-combat fleet.

“The Seaspan Shipyards team is incredibly proud to launch the future CCGS John Cabot, our third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel. It is a great honour to have such an exceptional leader as Dr. Bonnie Henry help launch this ship. Her leadership and clarity gave us the confidence, in an unprecedented climate, to continue our operations safely, which led to today’s successful launch.” – Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards