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The Canadian Coast Guard fleet

The Canadian Coast Guard fleet of vessels delivers the on-water portion of our mandated programs, including:

  • Icebreaking
  • Aids to Navigation
  • Search and Rescue
  • Environmental Response
  • Waterways Management

The fleet supports Fisheries and Oceans Canada as they carry out science and conservation and protection operations. It also supports commercial fishing, maritime transportation, shipping and tourism industries as well as recreational boating.

Our fleet of red and white ships, helicopters and air cushion vehicles is an iconic symbol of maritime safety and the sovereignty of Canadian waters.

Agency support

Our vessels are Canada’s only civilian fleet that supports the mandates of other government departments and agencies, such as:

  • the RCMP
  • Parks Canada
  • Transport Canada
  • Public Safety Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Ecosystems and Oceans Science
  • the Department of National Defence
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada Conservation and Protection

Vessel types

The fleet is comprised of several types of vessels as well as helicopters to deliver on-water services. It includes:

  • training vessels
  • specialty vessels
  • chartered vessels
  • air cushion vehicles
  • special navaids vessels
  • mid-shore patrol vessels
  • channel survey and sounding vessels

The fleet has a further 4 types of vessel with distinct classes of their own.


Our icebreaking fleet includes:

  • light icebreakers
  • heavy icebreakers
  • medium icebreakers

Multi-purpose vessels

Our fleet includes 3 different types of multi-purpose vessel:

  • offshore patrol class
  • high endurance class
  • medium endurance class

Science and research vessels

Our science and research vessels include:

  • mid shore science vessels
  • offshore fishery science vessels
  • offshore oceanic science vessels
  • near-shore fishery research vessels

Search and rescue lifeboats

Our fleet includes the following classes of lifeboat:

  • Bay class
  • Arun class
  • Cape class
  • Sound class

Vessel services and information

Our vessels deliver specific services and programs but can be multitasked. In an emergency they may be assigned other missions such as search and rescue, environmental response or humanitarian work.

The number of vessel crew members depends largely on the size of the vessel.

Our database provides information about all of our vessels, including:

  • type
  • name
  • status
  • home port
  • home region


Helicopter services are a key part of our readiness profile and response capability. We rely on air transportation while protecting and serving the roughly 7 million Canadians living in coastal areas.

Our logged flying hours are made up of:

  • 65% marine traffic safety
  • 15% icebreaking operations
  • 20% among other coast guard programs and government departments

Our specific activities depend on the needs of the program or department we support.


Fleet vessels operate in all domestic waters of Canada, such as:

  • the Great Lakes
  • inland areas such as:
    • Lake Winnipeg
    • Lake of the Woods
    • the Mackenzie River
  • the Gulf of St. Lawrence
  • the St. Lawrence Seaway
  • the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans

Larger vessels are often tasked to international ports for various activities.

In Canada, operating in ice is a factor which limits operations to larger vessels that have been designed to operate in or where ice may be present. Seasonal vessels are removed from service when ice may be present.


High endurance multi-tasked vessel CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Offshore patrol vessel CCGS Leonard J. Cowley
Air cushioned vehicle CCGS Mamilossa
Cape class lifeboat CCGS Cap Aupaluk
Channel survey and sounding vessel CCGS Helen Irene Battle
Specialty vessel CCGS S. Kelso
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