CCGS George R. Pearkes

Built in 1986 in British Columbia, the CCGS George R. Pearkes is a light icebreaker/large buoy tender. It operated in the Pacific and Quebec Regions before being transferred to the Newfoundland and Labrador Region in 2004.

The vessel is named after Mr. George R. Pearkes, who served in both world wars and was a recipient of the Victoria Cross.  Mr. Pearkes reached the rank of major-general, was appointed Minister of National Defense, and later became Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

The Pearkes is used for buoy placement, retrieval and monitoring, Atmospheric Environmental Service buoy program (offshore data acquisition system offshore buoys), construction programs, search and rescue, icebreaking, pollution control, fisheries patrol scientific work, and research and development.

The Pearkes features a diesel electric AC/AC power plant and three 16-cylinder main generators that provide 6,600 kilowatts of power. It has two fixed pitch propellers, an auxiliary V8 generator and a V6 generator for emergency power. The vessel is also equipped with a bow thruster, a speed crane with three hoists on the well deck, and is capable of lifting 20, eight and five tonnes respectively. A powered 12-tonne rope reel is fixed on the after deck for stowing the vessel's towing cable. It carries a 66-person enclosed life boat and three 20-person life rafts. There is also a 10-person life raft fitted which may be deployed during search and rescue operations. The ship is equipped with a self-propelled barge and a fast rescue craft, both of which are launched from davits.

The Pearkes' flight deck, with a telescopic hangar, is capable of handling two helicopters, as well as a fueling station.

On board equipment used for navigation includes two gyro compasses, X- and S-band radar, electronic charts system, autopilot, speed log, two Global Positioning System (GPS) units, Loran-C, one RDF, one VHF-DF and two depth sounders. The vessel is also equipped with Global Maritime Distress Safety System equipment - radio over telex. Satellite communication is available with Internet, and the ship has a weather fax machine to receive weather charts.

The Pearkes has a main cargo hold capable of holding 980 m3 of cargo, which is primarily used for stowing navigational aids during buoy programs. The loading and discharging of cargo into and out of the main hold is facilitated by the vessel's large speedcrane. The hold is protected by a watertight hydraulic hatch cover which can be operated from the well deck.

Stores and smaller equipment may be lowered into the ship's secondary cargo area, called central stores, through a smaller hatch in the after deck. Two seacranes (safe working load is two tonnes) on the flight deck may be employed for this purpose.

The vessel has a crew of 25. And, at all times, at least one crewmember onboard is a rescue specialist.

Vessel Particulars
Length 83 metres
Width 16.2 metres
Draft (How deep the vessel sits in the water.) 6.0 metres
Displacement (Weight of vessel.) 3,809 gross tonnes
Horsepower 8,847 hp
Maximum speed 15 knots
Cruising speed 11 knots