Canadian Coast Guard’s first new icebreaker welcomed to fleet

The CCGS Captain Molly Kool is presented to the media after undergoing refit and conversion work at the Davie shipyard, Friday, December 14, 2018 in Levis Que. Reduced search-and-rescue coverage, ferry-service disruptions, cancelled resupply runs to Arctic and coastal communities and nearly $2 million in lost navigational buoys. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

The first new Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker in 25 years, named after a female sea pioneer, was officially dedicated to the Coast Guard fleet on Thursday.

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and Governor General Julie Payette were in St. John’s, N.L., at the Coast Guard’s Atlantic headquarters to welcome the Captain Molly Kool.

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Myrtle “Molly” Kool was the first woman in North America to become a licensed ship captain. She was born to a mariner family in 1916 in Alma, N.B., and earned a reputation as a fearless mariner transporting cargo on the Bay of Fundy.

Kool’s sister, Martha Miller, and members of the Kool family attended the ceremony.

A Coast Guard news release says the ship’s name was chosen to commemorate the captain’s achievements and the contributions of all seafaring women.

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The release says the vessel, one of three bought from Norway last August, will provide essential Coast Guard services by keeping people safe at sea, preventing ice jams and maintaining shipping

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The government cited the cost for the three icebreakers as $610 million in August when it announced its plan to buy them and have
them refitted at the Davie Shipyard.

Budget documents later revealed that with tariffs, brokerage fees, engineering work and other costs, the total cost had risen to $827 million.

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