Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

October 24, 2005 13:30 ET

DFO: Canadian Coast Guard Ship Returns From Hurricane Relief Effort

DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 24, 2005) - Geoff Regan, Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today congratulated the crew of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Sir William Alexander, on its return from relief operations in the southern US. They were part of Operation UNISON, the Government of Canada response to the US relief effort following hurricane Katrina.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I want to commend the Coast Guard crews on the exemplary level of skill and expertise they brought to this task. It was their dedication and professionalism that made this mission such a success."

The 83-metre vessel, loaded with supplies, set sail from Halifax on September 6, 2005. It carried out relief operations in US waters until October 22, 2005. The vessel steamed to port today in an effort to avoid the effects of hurricane Wilma as it moves up the Eastern seaboard.

During its US mission, the CCGS Sir William Alexander and her crew assisted in restoring US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather buoys, which make up a primary early storm warning system. They also retrieved and redeployed navigation buoys in the Gulf of Mexico and, during the return journey to home port, along the Atlantic seaboard.

The Sir William Alexander was designed for northern waters as a Light Icebreaker/Major Navigational Aids Tender. In the US, it was operating in warmer waters. Temperatures on board the vessel reached much higher than usual levels, notably in the engine room, adding significant challenges to the task.

"This mission embodies the strong relationship between Canada and the United States," said Minister Regan. "Canada's contribution, particularly on the part of the Coast Guard, has been recognized at the highest levels in both Canada and the US and is a model for international cooperation."

The Sir William Alexander was one of four vessels sent by the Government of Canada on September 6, 2005 to assist with the US relief operations. It accompanied the Canadian Navy vessels HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Ville de Quebec and HMCS Toronto, which returned to Canada in September.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Sophie Galarneau
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Sujata Raisinghani, Press Secretary
    (613) 992-3474