Built in 1987 in Vancouver, British Columbia, the CCGS Henry Larsen is used for icebreaking.
The vessel is named in honour of Superintendent Henry Larsen of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who, in 1940, was in command of the RCMP ship St. Roch when the vessel became the first ship to navigate the Northwest Passage from west to east.
Although the Larsen is a medium gulf/river icebreaker, it also provides search and rescue support, escorting large ships in southern Canadian waters, as well as Arctic areas, during the summer season, and conducts limited oceanographic, meteorological, and other scientific work in regions inaccessible to conventional ships.
The Larsen is fitted with three V16 cylinder diesel engines, two synchronous propulsion motors, two AC/AC cycloconverters1 and two 4160-volt 600-horsepower air bubbler compressors. The air bubbler system is fitted and controlled from the wheelhouse to reduce hull friction during icebreaking operations and also acts as a side thruster. As well, there is a U-tube type roll stabilization and heeling system which helps maintain the ship's stability in adverse weather conditions. The vessel is also equipped with a helicopter, flight deck and hangar.
There is a special navigation chart room, which has been used by scientists and researchers to monitor various ice, water and weather conditions. During ice operations, the vessel carries a designated ice observer. The Larsen has 47 cabins which can accommodate 73 persons in total and it has a well-equipped hospital ward.
The communications equipment on board consists of VHF FM ship-to-ship or -shore communications equipment, Global Maritime Distress Safety System, with VHF AM for aircraft communications. It has satellite communications systems including Inmarsat B and a weather fax machine to receive weather charts. The vessel also has Navtex weather and urgency broadcast systems as well as a fixed cellular phone with faxing capabilities.
The Larsen has auto pilot, two depth sounders, two electronic chart systems, two Global Positioning System (GPS) units, two gyro compasses, a Loran-C system, medium frequency direction finder, and three radar systems. It has a speed log, VHF direction finder and an ice imagery system, which provides ice imagery information.
The vessel has a crew of 31. And, at all times, at least one crewmember onboard is a rescue specialist. In addition, when the vessel is in the Arctic, there is a nurse, an ice observer, a helicopter pilot and a helicopter engineer on board.
|Displacement3||6,166.5 gross tonnes|
|Maximum speed||16 knots|
|Cruising speed||13.5 knots|
1AC/Ac cycloconverters: Electric propulsion system.
2Draft: How deep the vessel sits in the water.
3Displacement: Weight of vessel.