The Canadian Coast Guard officially welcomed icebreaker CCGS Captain Molly Kool to its fleet at the Canadian Coast Guard Atlantic Region Headquarters in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, on May 30.
This marked the first of three new medium icebreakers to join the coast guard fleet.
The CCGS Captain Molly Kool is also the first new Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker in 25 years.
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.
In December 2018, the CCGS Captain Molly Kool was accepted into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. The second and third vessels will be accepted into service in late 2019 and summer 2020, respectively.
The icebreaker bears the name of the first woman in North America to be certified of Master of a Cargo Steamship in the Home Trade in 1939. This was one of the highest levels of qualification that could be achieved in the seagoing profession when Captain Kool attained the designation in 1939.
“Captain Molly Kool was a pioneer who stepped outside the status quo and beyond the societal definitions of her gender. She broke down barriers and was a trailblazer who helped female mariners move out of the periphery and into the mainstream,” Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, said.
“I am proud that the Canadian Coast Guard has named the first icebreaker to join our fleet in 25 years after Captain Kool; our first icebreaker to bear the name of a female ship captain,” he added.
“Not only does today’s ceremony commemorate the achievements of Captain Molly Kool, it is a celebration of all women who serve in the Maritime community. I recognize every woman who has dedicated their lives to working in a seafaring career that has traditionally been male-oriented,” Judy May Foote, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, commented.
The CCGS Captain Molly Kool, which can maintain a speed of 3 knots through ice up to 1 metre thick, will provide essential icebreaking services to ensure safe navigation, prevent ice jams and flooding, and maintain shipping routes.
The vessel has a total of 18,278 horsepower and its twin propellers and twin rudders provide a high degree of manoeuvrability. It can operate continuously without refueling for approximately 25 days and has a crew of 19.