Government of Canada extends contract for marine emergency towing vessels on the West Coast


OTTAWA, ON, November 5, 2021 / CNW / – The government of Canada is committed to protecting sailors and the marine environment on the West Coast, including Indigenous coastal communities and surrounding waters.

To continue to honor this commitment, the government of Canada is developing a long-term national approach to emergency towing at sea, known as the National Emergency Towing Strategy, which will include recommendations on how best to meet emergency towing requirements on all ribs. The strategy will take into account regional needs, the perspectives of Indigenous peoples, partners and stakeholders, and lessons learned from the Atlantic eagle and Atlantic Raven, which are the two government-leased emergency tugs currently stationed off the coast of British Columbia.

As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the two vessels were strategically located in the waters off the coast of British Columbia since late 2018, helping to ensure the Canadian Coast Guard has the vessels it needs to respond to an incident involving large vessels off the West Coast. The Atlantic Raven was at the scene and continues to play a critical role in the ongoing incident involving the M / V Zim Kingston disabled Great Victoria, Vancouver Island.

Today the government of Canada announced a one-year contract extension for the rental of the two emergency towing vessels. The extension of this contract is an interim measure while the federal government determines how best to provide sustainable emergency towing capabilities. The extension is evaluated at $ 20 million.

As part of its commitment to protect Indigenous waters and coastal communities, the Government of Canada works with the Indigenous peoples of British Columbia to ensure their ideas and expertise are reflected in the planning, response and protection of mariners and the marine environment, including the towing of emergency. The Canadian Coast Guard has strengthened its collaboration with Indigenous peoples on maritime safety and response training, and we have worked closely to expand the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary into British Columbia to support Indigenous communities.


“Our government will continue to work closely with First Nations in British Columbia to protect our beautiful coasts, our rivers and all those who benefit from them. As we saw with the recent container spill, emergency tugs play a critical role within the Canadian Coast Guard as part of these efforts. We are proud that the historic investments we made under the Oceans Protection Plan continue to support enhanced maritime security along our iconic Pacific coast. “

The Honorable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Responding to emergencies and preventing spills protect our oceans and support our economy. The renewal of these leases is another step in ensuring that our coasts are protected in a modern and advanced way. Thanks to the Oceans Protection Plan, shipping is safer, and our ecosystems are better protected than ever in Canada. “

The Honorable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

Fast facts

  • In 2018, as part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada awarded with a three-year term, $ 67 million contract with Atlantic Towing Ltd. Saint-Jean, New Brunswick, for the rental of Atlantic eagle and Atlantic Raven.
  • Both ships are capable of towing large vessels in distress, such as tankers or container ships, before they get too close to shore, to help prevent incidents on the water. This responds to the immediate need to increase emergency response capacity in the region.
  • Both ships are located off the coast of British Columbia, one patrolling a northern area in Canadian waters between Alaska and the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and the other patrolling a southern area including the west side of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
  • These two large vessels support a wide range of the Coast Guard’s mandate, including search and rescue operations and environmental responses as required.
  • The $ 1.5 billion The Oceans Protection Plan is the biggest investment ever to protect from Canada coasts and rivers. This national plan creates a stronger maritime security system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and clean waters for generations to come. This work is carried out in close collaboration with indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.

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SOURCE Canadian Coast Guard

For further information: For further information: Media Relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, 613-990-7537, [email protected]

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