Ex-Canadian Coast Guard research ship considered for preservation as floating museum

CCGS Hudson in 2016 (Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
CCGS Hudson in 2016 (Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

A former politician in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia has recommended that a recently decommissioned research vessel be repurposed as a museum ship.

Vince MacLean, former mayor of Sydney on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island, told local news outlet SaltWire that the now-retired CCGS Hudson is "a national treasure" for having served with the Canadian Coast Guard for nearly 60 years and for obtaining extensive knowledge on the world's oceans.

Mr Maclean cited that the preservation work that went into the World War II-era corvette HMCS Sackville, now operating as a static museum ship in Halifax Harbour, may also be applied in Hudson's case.

Mr Maclean added that the research vessel may also be operated as a training platform for cadets at the Canadian Coast Guard College in nearby Westmount.

Among other things, Hudson is known for its November 1969 voyage to Antarctica. During that same voyage, it became the first vessel to circumnavigate both North and South America.

Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway, who has also expressed support for the planned preservation, remarked that the vessel's role in gathering scientific data helped lead to the development of Canada's ocean policy, which covers a range of issues such as climate change and the designation of marine protected areas.

Mr Kelloway added that work is now underway to identify a local organisation capable of acquiring and maintaining the vessel.

Hudson was the Canadian Coast Guard's oldest active ship at the time of its decommissioning on January 19, 2022.

The coast guard said the vessel suffered a failure of its starboard propulsion motor in November 2021. Due to the scale of the problem and the time and cost to repair it, combined with the costs associated with a planned period of regulatory compliance work, it was determined that the vessel is beyond economical repair and further investment would not allow it to return to reliable service.

The vessel has been berthed in St. John's Harbour in Newfoundland since January.

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