Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

November 21, 2014 17:00 ET

The Government of Canada Highlights the Success of This Year's Franklin Expedition

The Canadian Coast guard and the Canadian Hydrographic Service explain their critical role to students from Royal Oak Middle School

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 21, 2014) -

Editor's Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The member of Parliament for Yukon, Ryan Leef, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, was pleased to welcome the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier back to its home port of Victoria, B.C. and also welcome over 60 students and teachers from Royal Oak Middle School for an afternoon of exploring and discovering Canadian history onboard the ship.

The crew of CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and hydrographers from the Canadian Hydrographic Service, both branches of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, along with an archaeologist from Parks Canada, conducted tours and presentations for the students throughout the ship, allowing students to see the areas where data collection, analyses and discoveries took place during the 2014 Victoria Strait expedition.

CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the main ship in this year's multi-partner expedition and provided vessel and helicopter support to archaeologists from the Government of Nunavut and Parks Canada, supporting their breakthrough discovery of Sir John Franklin's HMS Erebus. The Canadian Hydrographic Service provided the high resolution three-dimensional multibeam data, collected from two of its survey launches, that provided Parks Canada with the ability to ultimately confirm the identity of the discovered shipwreck.

In addition to science support for the Franklin search, the vessel, its Coast Guard crew and the Canadian Hydrographic Service hydrographers also conducted significant work in support of maritime safety and security. Among the many activities undertaken by the Canadian Coast Guard during the Victoria Strait timeframe included icebreaking, search and rescue, servicing aids to navigation, and conducting ice escorts for commercial ships. During that same timeframe, the Canadian Hydrographic Service collected substantial amounts of bathymetric, topographic and tidal information to contribute directly to developing modern nautical charts, which will enhance marine safety in Canada's arctic waters.

Quick Facts

  • The 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition was a bold Canadian innovative collaboration by experts in hydrography, ice and coastal mapping, navigation, marine history, archaeology and ocean engineering, all of whom contributed their efforts, expertise and technologies to explore the Arctic Ocean seafloor.
  • Government partners for the 2014 Victoria Strait expedition included Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC) (an agency of the Department of National Defence), Environment Canada, and the Canadian Space Agency, as well as the Governments of Nunavut and Great Britain.
  • Private and non-profit partners include the Arctic Research Foundation and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Shell Canada and One Ocean Expeditions.
  • There were four vessels supporting the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition: CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Canadian Coast Guard), HMCS Kingston (Royal Canadian Navy), the research vessel Martin Bergmann (Arctic Research Foundation) and the One Ocean Voyager (One Ocean Expeditions), as well as a number of smaller vessels.
  • The Canadian Hydrographic Service objective was to survey and chart navigation routes and to use its technology and skills to assist Parks Canada in their search for the lost Franklin ships in Canada's Arctic. During the 2014 Victoria Strait expedition, the Canadian Hydrographic Service team aboard CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier surveyed 4,600 line kilometers representing 460 square kilometres of Arctic seabed using the Laurier and two hydrographic launches, CSL Kinglett and CSL Gannet.
  • An important new collaboration between the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Royal Canadian Navy resulted in new sea bed surveys in the eastern Arctic conducted by HMCS Kingston and a team of Canadian Hydrographic Service hydrographers that covered 2,500 line kilometres, representing 650 square kilometres.


"Since 2008, under the leadership of our Prime Minister, our Government has worked with an array of partners from the public, private, and academic sectors to locate the historic ships of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition. This year's expedition exemplary partnership allowed us to maximize our technologies and expertise, ultimately helping mariners transit our arctic waters safely, protect our northern communities, understand our marine ecosystems and even uncover our own arctic history."

  • The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister for Fisheries and Oceans Canada

"We are incredibly proud that the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Hydrographic Service played such a vital role in the discovery of the HMS Erebus. Through this year's Franklin expedition, the many public and private partners solved one of the world's great maritime mysteries, and it will be through our teachers and professors that Canadian students will learn about how this discovery ties into our nation's history and our future."

  • Member of Parliament for Yukon Ryan Leef

Related Products

- Captain's Log

- The Role of the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Coast Guard in the Discovery of the HMS Erebus

Associated Links

PM announces HMS Erebus as the discovered Franklin Expedition ship (

Governments of Canada and Nunavut celebrate Franklin Expedition Discoveries in Gjoa Haven (

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada announcing the discovery of one of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition Ships lost in 1846 (

Royal Canadian Geographical Society - The 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition (

Minister Aglukkaq Announces 2014 Search for Franklin Expedition (


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Contact Information

  • Dan Bate
    Communications Branch
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Office (604) 775-8809
    Cell: 604-209-6225