Week 2

August 26, 2015

Crews take part in mandatory safety drills

Fully enclosed lifeboat on board the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier

The morning began at the southern end of James Ross Strait, a body of water that separates Boothia Peninsula from King William Island.  Tasks today concentrated on aids to navigation, hydrographic surveys, sea trials and ship safety. With ongoing warm temperatures and light winds, we made full use of the conditions to task all available assets. The helicopter was sent out to the Blenky Islands, where CCG crews completed the annual servicing of beacons, while Gannet and Kinglett conducted surveys in the Strait.

Boatswain Piper Harris and Seaman Devin Ramos launch the CHS tide gauge from CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier

As part of our operations, the CCG is involved with maritime search and rescue in Canadian waters, but even we need to be prepared. So, after lunch we conducted mandatory safety drills for all crew and supernumeraries to ensure that our crews are ready to respond to any ship emergency. Safety first isn't just our motto – it's our mission.  With the sounding of the general alarm, all ship personnel headed to their muster stations to receive their directions.  The exercise involved a fire onboard and a severe medical injury sustained by a crew member.  The drill tested emergency procedures, medical protocols, equipment and safe evacuation of the ship using the fully enclosed lifeboats. No mariner takes the issue of safety lightly, and no one ever should.

In the early evening, CCG Boatswain Piper Harris and his deck crew deployed a tide gauge under the direction of the CHS into the deeper waters off of Cape Felix.  Placement of this particular gauge required an ocean depth between 40 and 70 meters; no deeper to protect its calibrated sensors and no shallower to protect it from being scoured by passing ice floes. It rests upright along the sea bottom to collect tidal information continuously for a year. At the time of deployment, other information is recorded (atmospheric pressure, position and time of deployment) to facilitate finding the instrument again and calibrating the results. Next year, we'll return to this spot with the hydrographers to release the gauge using an acoustic signal and download the recorded information. Once the operation was completed, we dropped anchor for the night.

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