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Canada More problems surface in troubled refit of coast guard vessel

15:05  09 december  2019
15:05  09 december  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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A Canadian Coast Guard rescue lifeboat broke down twice this month en route to its Nova Scotia home port after a refit , CBC News has learned. It underwent sea trials and more troubleshooting before finally making its way to Cape Sable Island, where it arrived at the West Head wharf on Nov.

The coast guard is trying to keep the ship at sea until 2024, which is when a replacement is scheduled to be in service. In the meantime, the coast guard wants to move up work that was planned for after the refit and carry it out while the ship is still out of the water in St. John's.

red ship in a body of water: The completion timeline of a refit of CCGS Hudson has been pushed back for the second time, while the cost has been pushed up.© Provided by cbc.ca The completion timeline of a refit of CCGS Hudson has been pushed back for the second time, while the cost has been pushed up.

There are new setbacks, delays and costs in the life-extension refit of the storied Canadian Coast Guard Ship Hudson.

As the refit runs late, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is searching for a replacement vessel to carry out ocean climate science missions on the East Coast in the first half of 2020.

Asbestos and deficient parts were discovered inside the 56-year-old ocean science vessel, pushing back completion of the work for a second time.

"We're looking at a short delay now for a couple of months," said Gary Ivany, the assistant commissioner of the coast guard's Atlantic region.

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In most cases, militarized Coast Guard cutters would be tasked with duties in low-to-medium threat areas such as patrolling US ports and so on, the Thus the Coast Guard would probably be involved in direct combat with enemy vessels even in parts of the world that are far from the nominal battlefields.

The coast guard has been forced to spend more than .5 million this fall to charter vessels to carry out at-sea science surveys because a much -delayed refit Canada's East Coast ocean monitoring program usually takes place on the CCGS Hudson, but the 54-year old vessel is still not ready after a

The refit was already six months late before the latest problems surfaced.

Refit contract amended to add $1.3M to bill

Federal procurement documents also show the cost of the job has jumped to $11.4 million, up by $1.3 million.

The reason for the hike is unclear after the original contract was amended last month without explanation.

Hudson, Canada's oldest coast guard ship, was sent to NewDock, a St. John's shipyard in February for a $10-million refit.

It was supposed to be back in service at its base at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, N.S., this fall, but that was delayed after lead paint was discovered when the ship was hauled out of the water and opened up.

The refit has been delayed again after the yard encountered more problems.

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"My question is, with the problems with that dry docking, why was this firm allowed to bid on this one?" asked Wayne Snow, the CEO of Dartmouth-based That refit was months behind schedule and still unfinished when Public Services and Procurement Canada stepped in in October and towed Hudson

Repairing and maintaining existing vessels will ensure CCG continues to deliver marine safety and environmental response capacity for future generations. This work supports Canada’s shipbuilding industry, ensuring the best value for Canadian taxpayers.

They don't make those parts anymore

Work stopped temporarily to remove asbestos wrapped around piping in the exhaust stack.

NewDock is also waiting for replacement parts needed in heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, Ivany said.

"We're really hoping that it's going to be back in a couple of months after the planned April 1st timeline," he said.

Some of the parts to be replaced are original to 1963 and are no longer manufactured. Others are more recent and failed unexpectedly.

Canadian scientists again looking for a ride

"It's not the best news," said Alain Vézina, the Maritimes region science director at DFO.

"We're working very hard with a whole department approach to find solutions to ensure we deliver the high-priority programs in the coming spring and maybe a little bit later in the year as well, because the return date is a bit uncertain at this stage."

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Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, vessel repair, refit and maintenance contracts, are open to all Canadian shipyards. Funding for this project is partly provided under the Federal Infrastructure Initiative announced in November 2014. Under this initiative, the Canadian Coast Guard received

Troubled refit for a storied ship. The refit at NewDock is Phase 2 of a life extension for CCGS Hudson. Phase 1 was carried out in 2017 by Heddle The delay forced DFO to spend .5 million chartering vessels to carry out science missions on the East Coast of Canada because Hudson was unavailable.

The delay over lead paint forced the cancellation of the fall Atlantic zone monitoring mission for the first time ever because the department could not find a vessel capable of handling the rough weather.

Hudson is Canada's Atlantic Ocean science workhorse.

For decades, the ship has carried out a wide variety of monitoring missions throughout the year from the Scotian Shelf to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and north to the Labrador Sea.

The mission includes continuous climate science to measure and prepare for the impact of climate change, helping to manage commercial fish stocks and meeting Canada's international commitments to monitor the North Atlantic.

"We need to recover that instrumentation, download the data, put them back in again. We also do work from vessels in deepwater to understand how the deepwaters are influenced by climate," said Vézina.

Canada is obliged to collect data from instruments in the water belonging to partner countries, in the United States or European Union.

"So we have to find a platform and go in to recover that instrumentation, so we're committed to doing that. That's an absolute priority," he said.

Aging fleet

Hudson is hardly the only aging vessel in the coast guard fleet, according to information DFO presented to industry earlier this year.

DFO said 16 of 21 coast guard vessels used for science as of 2019 are older than their 25-year "operational lifespan."

Opinion: This is what Canada needs in the Arctic .
The Viking Sky lost power in gale-force winds off the Norwegian coast last March. As the cruise ship drifted toward the rocks, five search and rescue helicopters winched 479 passengers to safety. No rescue of that magnitude could be pulled off in the Canadian Arctic. The Royal Canadian Air Force’s Cormorant maritime search and rescue helicopters are based in southern Canada and cannot reach the Northwest Passage without stopping to refuel. And like the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreakers, the Cormorants are growing old. Yet as the Arctic sea ice melts, commercial shipping, resource development and tourism are increasing.

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