New rapid oil spill response vessel launches in British Columbia

Gcpennmanosrv 49195

The following is the text of a news release from Marketwired:

(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) (Sept. 1) — Western Canada Marine Response Corp. (WCMRC) launched its newest oil spill response vessel today in Burrard Inlet. The boat, named after former employee George Penman, was christened at a private ceremony in Coal Harbor.

The $4.5 million G.M. Penman is a 65-foot ocean-class oil spill response vessel (OSRV) built by Rozema Boat Works in Washington state. It is only the fifth vessel of its kind in the world with sister vessels operating in Santa Barbara servicing the offshore production platforms off the California coast.

"The 65-foot OSRVs are smaller, faster and more cost effective than older unsheltered water vessels," said Kevin J. Gardner, president and general manager of WCMRC. "The G.M. Penman provides WCMRC with improved open-water rapid response and nighttime operations capacity."

The G.M. Penman has a top speed of 26 knots when traveling to an incident. Once on scene, the boom arms can be deployed within minutes. Two onboard Lamor skimming brushes have a combined skimming capacity of 32.8 tonnes per hour.

With overnight accommodation space for five crewmembers and a FLIR (forward-looking infrared) camera, the G.M. Penman is the first vessel in WCMRC's fleet that can operate continuously for multiple days in open water before requiring resupplies.

The G.M. Penman joins WCMRC's fleet of 32 spill response vessels, including two other Rozema built vessels: the 47-foot bay-class OSRVs the Eagle Bay and the M.J. Green. It will conduct sea trials in Vancouver for the foreseeable future until it is deployed to one of WCMRC's satellite response bases on the West Coast.

Should the Trans Mountain expansion project proceed, WCMRC will be implementing a $100 million investment to create new response bases in the Salish Sea and fund new equipment, including the addition of a number of similar G.M. Penman sized oil spill response vessels to WCMRC's fleet. The new response bases and vessels will cut planning standards for response times in half and significantly increase response capabilities.

Quick facts

• 65-foot OSRV designed for unsheltered water
• Powered by twin 1,600-hp Caterpillar diesel engines, giving it a top speed of 26 knots
• With boom arms deployed the skimming speed is 1.5 knots
• 3,000 gallons of fuel storage for increased range and endurance
• Skimming system: Two Lamor brush skimmers
• Can skim 32.8 tonnes per hour with a storage capacity of 30 tonnes
• On-deck boom reel with 1,500 feet of 42-inch Kepner ocean boom
• Equipped with an Aerostat Ariel observation balloon
• Equipped with a gyro-stabilized FLIR camera


Western Canada Marine Response Corp. is a Transport Canada-certified organization that protects the coastal waters of British Columbia from oil spills. It is the only certified spill response organization on Canada's West Coast.

By Professional Mariner Staff