We have a rather LARGE announcement. We’re excited to share that the Canadian Coast Guard will be bringing one of their icebreaking vessels to our festival this summer. The CCGS Griffon can carry over 740 tons and is 234 feet long, making her the largest vessel in our fleet.
The Griffon is pretty much an ice chasing superhero. In the Great Lakes, she stops flooding in its tracks, carves out paths so cargo ships can get to where they need to safely and rescues commercial ships, ferries and fishing boats from ice covered waters.
During last year’s icebreaking season, the Griffon and her partner, CCGS Samuel Risley, travelled over 27,000 kilometres escorting commercial vessels through the ice, opening shipping routes and breaking out ports throughout the Great Lakes. That is the approximate distance of a round trip from the North to the South Pole.
In 2020, the Griffon will celebrate her 50th year on the water. On Canada Day weekend, the icebreaker will be open for tours, so you can explore all 2,798 square feet of her main deck.
The Canadian Coast Guard works tirelessly to keep our waters safe and accessible. The Griffon has two crews that each work 28 days in a row and then switch off so that she can always respond when duty calls. Her officers and crew are very proud to serve Canadians and are looking forward to welcoming visitors aboard at the festival.
“From the fresh water of the Great Lakes to the salt waters of Canada’s east, west and Arctic coasts, the Canadian Coast Guard provides a multitude of services essential for the safety of mariners and protection of the marine environment,” says Adriaan Kooiman, Commanding Officer of CCGS Griffon. “We welcome you to tour this fine ship and learn more about the interesting work we do every single day.”
To check out the Griffon’s stats and to find out how she got her name, visit her dedicated page here. We can’t wait to see her and her crew on Toronto’s waterfront this summer. One thing is for sure, you won’t be able to miss her!