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Quebec Bulletin
April-May 2017/Volume 20/Number 2

The CCGS Sipu Muin, Versatile and Vital

Hovercraft assigned near the Laviolette bridge in Trois-Rivièr
Refurbished, the CCGS Sipu Muin can stay active for another ten years.

The hovercraft Sipu Muin joined the Canadian Coast Guard fleet in 1998. Since that time, it has participated actively in various operations conducted in the Central and Arctic Region, to which Quebec belongs. Depending on the time of year, the air cushion vehicle is equipped to conduct icebreaking, buoy tending (buoys, daymarks, etc.) or search and rescue activities.

A typical year begins with icebreaking on Lake St. Pierre and in the adjoining rivers, from mid-February to April. This operation is closely linked to flood control, as breaking up the ice in a river allows the water to flow without creating a blockage at its mouth. This prevents the water level from rising, and thus reduces the risks of flooding in the area. The icebreaking territory is vast and extends from St. Louis Lake, near Montréal, to the Acadian Peninsula, in New Brunswick.

Launching a buoy using the crane installed on the Sipu Muin
The CCGS Sipu Muin is equipped to carry out many types of tasks according to the season, including buoyage.

After that, the CCGS Sipu Muin performs buoy tending operations to help facilitate safe navigation in Canadian waters. Buoy tending operations occur from spring until fall, when summer and winter buoys are laid or lifted, depending on the season.

The hovercraft is ready to respond at all times in the event of a search and rescue mission. Whether it's a simple engine failure or a medical evacuation, the CCGS Sipu Muin is a fast and versatile unit that allows the Canadian Coast Guard to fulfil this mandate in exemplary fashion.

This air cushion vehicle's defining feature is that it travels just as well on water and shoals as it does on dry land. It is without a doubt a truly versatile unit for the Canadian Coast Guard, which owns four of them—two based in Quebec and two in British Columbia.    

   

Simon Velghe
Canadian Coast Guard

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