PORT ALBERNI, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 20, 2015) - Senator Nancy Greene Raine, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, officially welcomed the new Canadian Coast Guard Ship M. Charles M.B. into service at a ceremony in Port Alberni, British Columbia today. She was joined by several members of the Charles family and the Nitinaht Band.

CCGS M. Charles M.B. is named after Seaman Martin Charles, S.C. M.B., of Bamfield, British Columbia, and Hereditary Chief of the Nitinaht Band. Martin Charles, now deceased, devoted his life and career to saving lives. He earned the Medal of Bravery for his instrumental role in a search and rescue incident that began with a sunken fishing vessel and ended with the crash of the helicopter assisting in the rescue efforts.

CCGS M. Charles M.B. is the eighth of nine Hero Class vessels to join the Coast Guard fleet. It will be used to support the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Conservation and Protection programs and support Search and Rescue on Canada's west coast.

Since 2009, the Government of Canada has delivered several new vessels to the Coast Guard, including Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels, a hovercraft, Search and Rescue Lifeboats; Specialty Vessels, Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessels, environmental barges, and small craft.

Quick Facts

  • CCG presence in Western Region includes 22 helicopters, and 34 vessels currently in service including:
    • 11 large vessels (over 33m)
    • 7 small vessels (up to 33m)
    • 3 Air cushioned vessels
    • 13 Search and Rescue Lifeboats
  • Based in Sidney, B.C., CCGS M. Charles M.B. is jointly crewed by Coast Guard and DFO Conservation and Protection staff.
  • The Hero Class vessels are named for decorated soldiers, veterans and police officers as well as employees of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard.
  • By naming these after Canadian heroes, the Government of Canada hopes to encourage future generations to learn about Canadian history, culture and geography.


"Our Government is proud to welcome CCGS M. Charles M.B. to our fleet and to honour the memory of Seaman Charles who devoted his life and career to saving lives. This Government has made unprecedented investments in the renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. Our robust fleet in the Western region helps the dedicated men and women of the Coast Guard in their crucial role of protecting those who make a living on the sea and our fisheries and oceans."

Senator Nancy Greene Raine

Associated Links

Hero Class vessels

Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Follow us on Twitter! www.Twitter.com/DFO_MPO

Contact Information:

Sophie Doucet
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Frank Stanek
Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada