Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 06, 2009 13:15 ET

Minister Shea Congratulates 14 New Marine Engineering Officers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 6, 2009) - Today, after graduating from the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia, 14 new Marine Engineering Officers joined the ranks of the Coast Guard.

"Safe and secure waters are a part of our Canadian heritage. They are vital to our economy as they support our fisheries and marine sectors, trade, and tourism," said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, offering her congratulations from Ottawa. "As new members of the Coast Guard, these young people will be making a difference for all Canadians."

Today's graduates completed a four-year program and received commercial certification in marine engineering, a Bachelor of Technology in Nautical Sciences degree from Cape Breton University, and a diploma from the Canadian Coast Guard College. They will soon make their way to various Coast Guard stations across Canada to take up active positions.

"Canadians can be proud of their Coast Guard," said Minister Shea. "Our men and women are internationally recognized for excellence in search and rescue operations and icebreaking. Today, we welcome these new cadets to a proud national institution."

The Government of Canada continues to bolster marine safety and security with significant investments in the Coast Guard fleet. Canada's Economic Action Plan saw $175 million for the procurement of 68 new small vessels, 30 environmental barges and major repair work on 40 large vessels.

A backgrounder on the Coast Guard College is available on the DFO website :



For more than 40 years, the Canadian Coast Guard College has offered an education unlike any other. Opened in 1965, it soon built a solid reputation for top-notch maritime training. Over the years, 1,043 Officer Cadets have graduated from the institution, taking their acquired skills across Canada and around the globe.

What's offered at the College?

Graduates of the Canadian Coast Guard Officer Training Program receive commercial certification in either marine engineering or marine navigation, a Bachelor of Technology in Nautical Sciences degree from Cape Breton University, and a diploma from the Canadian Coast Guard College.

In recent years, the College has added a number of programs to its roster:

- Marine Communications and Traffic Services: A nine-month basic training program in marine traffic regulating procedures and radio communications.

- Marine Maintenance and Equipment Training: Courses to prepare electronic technologists to maintain and repair all marine equipment used on Canadian Coast Guard ships and technical equipment used on shore to assist in navigation.

- Environmental Response: These courses are available for government departments and private sector individuals involved in oil spill response.

- Search and Rescue (SAR): A nine-week course that includes a model of operations for a typical Coast Guard lifeboat station or small vessel station.

Much of the training offered at the College includes the use of simulators designed to mimic complex navigation and engine propulsion systems. Simulators offer students safe, effective and controlled environments in which to learn the required specialized skills that will help them in their day-to-day role as officers.

More than an education

While students master navigational systems and ships' engines, they also learn some important values. The College is a residential facility that instills a sense of family and teamwork that officer cadets appreciate once they take up their first vessel assignment.

In exchange for their tuition-free education, room and board and monthly allowances, Canadian graduates commit to work four years on board Coast Guard vessels as Navigation or Marine Engineering Officers. After that period, many opt for a life-long career with the Coast Guard.

How to apply

The College accepts applications for enrolment in the Canadian Coast Guard Officer Training Program from September until January for the following academic year, which begins in September. Potential recruits should contact the College either by calling 1-902-567-3208 or by going to their web site at

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Scott Cantin
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay, Press Secretary