Canadian Coast Guard’s new search and rescue fleet

Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) contracted Hike Metal Products to build 10 new search and rescue lifeboats for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG).

PSPC is working with government and industry partners, to rebuild the government’s ship fleets and strengthen Canada’s marine industry. Across the country, the strategy is creating long-term economic benefits, such as stable, well-paying jobs.

Hike Metal Products reached the halfway point in its $79-million contract with the construction of the La Poile Bay, which sailed to the Atlantic Coast for delivery to the CCG. The ship will be stationed in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. It will be available for search and rescue missions and responding to marine distress calls.

The bow of a lifeboat
A Lifeboat being removed from the workshop by a crane
A Lifeboat being removed from the workshop by a crane

With 5 vessels now complete, the Wheatley, Ontario, shipbuilder is on track to deliver the remaining 5 by 2024, said Hike Metal Products President, Steve Ingram.

“We've delivered our fifth. Our sixth is in the shop right now. We’re planning to deliver that in the next several months. Our seventh is underway in another shop, and all the material for our eighth is arriving soon,” Ingram said.

The company has long built and repaired fishing boats. It’s known for various high-profile vessels, such as Maid of the Mist, the sightseeing boats that navigate the rapids of Niagara Falls, as well as the car ferry for the Toronto Island Airport and a number of police boats.

Ingram said the NSS has helped revive the market for small and mid-sized shipbuilders and their communities, which are ready for more work on small vessels in federal fleets.

“It’s had an immediate impact on an industry that was dying in Canada,” he said.

PSPC awarded Hike Metal its first contract, worth $43 million, in 2015 to build 6 new lifeboats.  In 2018, PSPC extended that contract with another $36 million to build 4 more. That contract revitalized the mid-sized custom shipbuilder by creating 10 new jobs and saved the jobs of the company’s existing 25 employees. Today, the CCG vessels account for about two-thirds of the company’s business.

For more information, visit the National Shipbuilding Strategy web page.

The bottom frame of a lifeboat in the workshop
The full frame of a lifeboat in the workshop

Did you know

  • Hike Metal Products is 1 of 2 shipbuilders that are part of a $180-million program to build 20 lifeboats for the CCG by 2024
  • The search and rescue lifeboats will be stationed across the country and each one is named after a Canadian bay
  • The vessels are 19 metres long, weigh 75 tonnes and are capable of travelling 100 nautical miles from shore
  • On an average day, the Coast Guard coordinates 19 search and rescue incidents, saving 13 lives and assisting 43 people
  • Under the NSS, PSPC has awarded about $976 million in contracts to small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 250 full-time employees
  • The NSS contracts to small and medium-sized businesses will help create or maintain 16,930 jobs a year, during the 2012 to 2022 period
Date modified: