CCGS Edward Cornwallis

CCGS Edward Cornwallis[lower-alpha 1] is a Martha L. Black-class icebreaker of the Canadian Coast Guard. She serves as a light Icebreaker and buoy tender on the East Coast of Canada. Entering service in 1986, the vessel is homeported at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The vessel is named after Lieutenant General Edward Cornwallis, a British Army officer and founder of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Edward Cornwallis in May 2012
Name: Edward Cornwallis
Namesake: Edward Cornwallis
Operator: Canadian Coast Guard
Port of registry: Ottawa, Ontario
Builder: Marine Industries, Tracy, Quebec
Yard number: 450
Launched: 24 February 1986
Commissioned: 14 August 1986
In service: 1986–present
Homeport: CCG Base Dartmouth (Maritime Region)
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Martha L. Black-class light icebreaker and buoy tender
  • 3,727.2 GT
  • 1,503.0 NT
Displacement: 4,662 long tons (4,737 t) full load
Length: 83 m (272 ft 4 in)
Beam: 16.2 m (53 ft 2 in)
Draught: 5.75 m (18 ft 10 in)
Ice class: Arctic Class 2
Propulsion: Diesel-electric AC – 3 Alco 251F-16V
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
Range: 6,500 nmi (12,000 km) at 13.7 knots (25.4 km/h)
Endurance: 120 days
Complement: 25
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 × Racal Decca Bridgemaster navigational radar (I band)
Aircraft carried: 1 × MBB Bo 105 helicopter
Aviation facilities: Flight deck and hangar

Design and description

Edward Cornwallis and sister ship CCGS Sir William Alexander differ from the rest of the class by having one less deck in the superstructure and their buoy-handling derricks mounted forward.[1] Edward Cornwallis displaces 4,662 long tons (4,737 t) fully loaded with a 3,727.2 gross tonnage (GT) and a 1,503.0 net tonnage (NT). The ship is 83.0 metres (272 ft 4 in) long overall with a beam of 16.2 metres (53 ft 2 in) and a draught of 5.8 metres (19 ft 0 in).[2][3]

The vessel is powered by is propelled by two fixed-pitch propellers and bow thrusters powered by three Alco 251F diesel-electric engines creating 8,847 horsepower (6,597 kW) and three Canadian GE generators producing 6 megawatts of AC power driving two Canadian GE motors creating 7,040 horsepower (5,250 kW).[2][3] The ship is also equipped with one Caterpillar 3306 emergency generator, and one Caterpillar 3508 auxiliary generator. This gives the ship a maximum speed of 16 knots (30 km/h). Capable of carrying 783.7 long tons (796.3 t) of diesel fuel, Edward Cornwallis has a maximum range of 6,500 nautical miles (12,000 km) at a cruising speed of 13.7 knots (25.4 km/h) and can stay at sea for up to 120 days. The ship is certified as Arctic Class 2.[3]

The icebreaker is equipped with one Racal Decca Bridgemaster navigational radar operating on the I band. The vessel is equipped a 980 m3 (35,000 cu ft) cargo hold. Edward Cornwallis is equipped with a flight deck and a hangar that can house two light helicopters of the MBB Bo 105 or Bell 206L types.[3] However, the vessel is only allotted one helicopter.[2][3] The ship has a complement of 25, with 10 officers and 15 crew. Edward Cornwallis has 9 additional berths.[3]

Operational history

The ship was constructed by Marine Industries at their yard in Tracy, Quebec with the yard number 450.[4] Edward Cornwallis was launched on 24 February 1986 and entered service on 14 August 1986.[2][4] The ship is registered in Ottawa, Ontario, and homeported at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.[2][3]

On 17 December 2007, Edward Cornwallis was dispatched to recover the 140-metre (459 ft 4 in) barge Houston carrying diesel fuel that had cast adrift in St. George's Bay near Port Hood, Nova Scotia. Facing 70 km/h (43 mph) winds and 5-metre (16 ft) waves, members of the crew boarded the barge. They rescued the crew and kept the barge from going aground until a tugboat arrived on 19 December. Five members of the crew were later awarded medals for their efforts.[5]



  1. CCGS stands for Canadian Coast Guard Ship


  1. Maginley & Collin 2001, p. 177.
  2. Saunders 2004, p. 95.
  3. "CCG Fleet: Vessel Details – Edward Cornwallis". Canadian Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  4. "Edward Cornwallis (8320470)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  5. Bresge, Adina (12 July 2016). "Coast Guard crew honoured for 'nick of time' heroics that prevented catastrophe". CTV News. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 25 February 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2018.


  • Maginley, Charles D. & Collin, Bernard (2001). The Ships of Canada's Marine Services. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-55125-070-5.
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2004). Jane's Fighting Ships 2004–2005. Alexandria, Virginia: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
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