CCGS Samuel Risley

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CCGS samuel risley.jpg
Samuel Risley in 2008
Name: Samuel Risley
Namesake: Samuel Risley, maritime inspector
Operator: Canadian Coast Guard
Port of registry: Ottawa, Ontario
Builder: Vito Steel Boat & Barge Limited, Delta, British Columbia
Yard number: 161
Commissioned: 4 April 1985
In service: 1985–present
Homeport: CCG Base Parry Sound, Ontario (Central and Arctic Region)
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Type: Samuel Risley-class icebreaker and buoy tender
  • 1,967 GT
  • 649.5 NT
Displacement: 2,935 long tons (2,982 t) full load
Length: 69.7 m (228 ft 8 in)
Beam: 13.7 m (44 ft 11 in)
Draught: 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in)
Ice class: CASPPR Arctic Class 2
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h)
Range: 16,700 nmi (30,900 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h)
Endurance: 58 days
Complement: 22

CCGS Samuel Risley[note 1] is a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker and buoy tender assigned to the Great Lakes area (Central and Arctic Region). Lead ship of her class, the vessel is named after the 19th century maritime inspector and first head of Board of Steamship Inspectors Samuel Risley for Upper Canada and Ontario.[1] Based in the Great Lakes, CCGS Samuel Risley is responsible for keeping an ice-free passage between Port Colborne, Ontario and Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Design and description[edit]

The design of the vessel is based on offshore supply-tugboat designs, with strengthened chines.[2] The vessel has a tall foredeck, and a long low quarterdeck, for carrying buoys, where a crane with a capability of lifting 15 long tons (15 t) is permanently mounted. The crane is motion stabilized.[3][4] Samuel Risley is 69.7 metres (228 ft 8 in) long overall with a beam of 13.7 metres (44 ft 11 in). The icebreaker has a draught of 5.2 metres (17 ft 1 in). Samuel Risley has a 1,967 gross tonnage (GT) and 649.5 net tonnage (NT).[3]

The ship is powered by four Wärtsilä Vasa 16V22 12-cylinder geared Diesel Engines driving two controllable pitch propellers that create 6,595 kW (8,844 hp). This gives the vessel a maximum speed of 14 knots (26 km/h). The vessel has a capacity of 692 m3 (152,000 imp gal) of diesel fuel that gives Samuel Risley a range of 16,700 nautical miles (30,900 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h) and the vessel can stay at sea for up to 58 days. The ship is equipped with one General Motors 6–71 emergency generator.[3][5]

The vessel is equipped with two Racal Decca navigational radars using the "X" and "S" band.[5] Samuel Risley is a light icebreaker and has an ice class of Arctic Class 2, which certifies that the ship has the capability to break ice up to 2 feet (0.61 m) thick, but in practice can successfully maintain continuous progress in up to 0.9 meters of ice. The vessel has a complement of 22, with 9 officers and 13 crew.[3]

Operational history[edit]

Ordered in 1983, the ship was launched in 1984 by Vito Steel Boat & Barge Limited at their yard in Delta, British Columbia with the yard number 161.[3][6][7] The vessel was completed on 4 April 1985.[5][6] After completion, the ship sailed to eastern Canada, transiting the Panama Canal and deploying to the Great Lakes.[4] The ship is assigned to the Central Region, based at Parry Sound, Ontario.[3][7]

In January 2015, Samuel Risley and CCGS Griffon worked to free several ships that had become icebound on the St. Clair River.[8] In April, Samuel Risley was one of four icebreakers sent to rescue ten commercial vessels trapped in ice near Whitefish Point, Michigan.[9]

In June 2016 Samuel Risley underwent a major refit by Newdock – St. John's Dockyard Ltd. Work was expected to last until September 2016.[needs update] The cost of the contract was $3.6 million CAN. The refit involved the replacement of the bow thruster, a crane overhaul and recoating of the hull, along with a renovation of the galley and inspections.[10] On 28 December 2017, Samuel Risley, in concert with the United States Coast Guard vessel USCGC Biscayne Bay, freed the lakers Edgar B. Speer and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. that had become stuck in the ice on the St. Marys River below Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario the day before.[11] Samuel Risley made its maiden voyage to the Arctic Ocean during the 2018 sailing season, leaving Quebec on 11 July 2018.[12] The vessel took part in the annual resupply of the United States air station at Thule, Greenland.[13]



  1. ^ CCGS stands for Canadian Coast Guard Ship


  1. ^ Appleton, Thomas E. (24 June 2014). "Usque Ad Mare: A History of the Canadian Coast Guard and Marine Services – Steamboat Inspection". Canadian Coast Guard. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  2. ^ Maginley, p. 66
  3. ^ a b c d e f "CCGS Samuel Risley". Canadian Coast Guard. 4 February 2015. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b Maginley, p. 70
  5. ^ a b c Saunders, p. 96
  6. ^ a b "Samuel Risley (8322442)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b Maginley and Collin, p. 175
  8. ^ Kula, Tyler (17 January 2015). "Coast guards worked to rescue tug and barges from icy St. Clair River". Sarnia Observer. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  9. ^ Armstrong, Kenneth (6 April 2015). "Icebreakers working to free 10 ships caught in heavy ice". Soo Today. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  10. ^ Government of Canada (15 July 2016). "Government of Canada Invests in Critical Refit and Maintenance of Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley" (Press release). Marketwired. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Coast Guard frees two freighters stuck in ice". Duluth News Tribune. 28 December 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  12. ^ Fisheries and Oceans Canada (19 June 2018). "Canadian Coast Guard 2018 Arctic Season Underway" (Press release). Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Maiden voyage to Arctic for Coast Guard ship". St. Catharines Standard. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.


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