On Sunday May 23, 2021, CCGS Limnos was berthed in Kingsville in the early morning hours where it was working an Aids to Navigation program. This involved checking conditions of the fixed navigational aids (lights) in the Kingsville Harbour. The vessel is currently working an Aids to Navigation program in the Amherstburg area, and then heading back down Lake Erie for more Aids to Navigation work.
Built in 1968, the Limnos is 147 feet long overall. Its home port is the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, Ontario, however, its operational area is all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Upper Beauharnois Lock in Quebec.
The CCGS Limnos normally carries out several science programs in Lake Erie. These include water quality surveillance, mooring deployment/recovery, and sampling of organisms that make up the food web, which also includes measuring harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.
These science programs support Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) fulfilling Canada’s binational commitments with the United States to monitor water quality in the Great Lakes. The science programs also help Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences to carry out studies about the ecosystems that support fisheries in Lake Erie and throughout the Great Lakes.
Along with these science missions, the CCGS Limnos carries out important work maintaining the buoys and markers that support safe navigation in the lakes.
The CCGS Limnos has both a dry lab and wet lab onboard. A dry lab contains electronics or other “dry” instruments or equipment. A wet lab involves chemicals and/or biological matter that are tested and analyzed using liquids. The two labs have different designs to accommodate specific work. The wet lab can also physically open and expose workers to the environment when collecting samples.
The number of crew and science staff on board varies depending on the program. Normally, there are 16 Canadian Coast Guard personnel on board for most programs (excluding refit periods). When the CCGS Limnos is conducting science work, there are additional ECCC and DFO science personnel on board. Canadian Coast Guard personnel work a “layday” schedule, which consists of 28 days on and 28 days off.
For those who were lucky enough to see this ship in our harbour, it was a reminder of the important work being carried out on behalf of Canadians by our Federal employees. We salute them for their efforts to keep our lakes and waterways safe and clean.
For more information about the work of the Canadian Coast Guard, visit their website at https://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/index-eng.html
To read more about Fisheries and Oceans Canada, visit their website at: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/index-eng.html
Photo by M.E. Havlik