Update on large naval tugs

Today the feds gave an update on the Large Naval tug project. this project will see 4 new tugs commissioned to replace the current fleet of Glen Tugs currently in use. The tugs are being built by Ocean Industries, at their Isle-aux-Coudres, Quebec shipyard.

The first two tugs (Haro and Barkerville) are scheduled to be delivered by sealift to the RCN’s Maritime Forces Pacific in Esquimalt, British Columbia, in 2022. The other two (Canso and Stella Maris) will sail to Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2023 and 2024.

The new tugs are named as follows.

  • Naval Large Tug #1 Haro – This name is taken from the Haro Strait, which connects the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca in British Columbia, and is frequently transited by Royal Canadian Navy vessels proceeding north from Esquimalt, the home of our Pacific Fleet. 
  • Naval Large Tug #2 Barkerville – This name is taken from the Second World War-era Ville-class tug of the same name, which capsized and sank at the entrance of Bedwell Harbour, British Columbia, on December 17, 1945, while towing His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Hespeler to its mooring. 
  • Naval Large Tug #3 Canso – This name is taken from the Canso Strait separating Nova Scotia from Cape Breton Island. This is a region that figures prominently in Canada’s formative history. It also reflects the Royal Canadian Navy’s past with HMCS Canso, a minesweeper that served in the Pacific and Atlantic during the Second World War, and was on hand at D-Day.
  • Naval Large Tug #4 Stella Maris – This name was selected in recognition of the valiant actions of the crew of the tug that came to the assistance of the French munitions ship, SS Mont-Blanc on December 6, 1917, in Halifax Harbour. The tug crew tried to fight a fire on board Mont-Blanc, and recognizing that they had insufficient water to quench the fire, selflessly attempted to tow the burning vessel away from shore. The tug was severely damaged and 19 personnel on board perished when Mont-Blanc then erupted in the disaster known as the Halifax Explosion.  
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