The vessel, named after Capt. Nichola Goddard, docked in Charlottetown during its maiden voyage on the weekend and offered public tours into the newest Canadian Coast Guard ship.
While the vessel honours a Canadian hero, it’s also a highly advanced ship.
“It’s definitely newer (than my previous ships), higher technology and really fun to drive,” said Bennett, who also commanded two other vessels for the coast guard. “The steering and all the propulsion is extremely high tech.”
The vessel is the final of nine Hero Class vessels to join the coast guard fleet.
The mid-shore patrol vessels were built at Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Halifax under a $194 million contract.
Bennett said the ship would be returning to Dartmouth before making the voyage to British Columbia, where it will be stationed.
“This boat is primarily tasked for conservation and protection, and search and rescue,” said Bennett, a 30-year member of the coast guard. “So when we get out to B.C., we’ll be enforcing fisheries operations and search and rescue around the coast.”
Goddard served with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and was killed in combat in 2006 while serving in Afghanistan.
Part of the purpose behind the Hero Class vessels is to encourage future generations to learn about Canadian history, culture and geography.
Egmont MP Gail Shea, who is also Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Regional Minister of P.E.I., said Goddard was a valiant soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving her country.
“That service will continue as this ship carries the dedicated men and women of the Coast Guard forward in their crucial role of protecting those who make a living on the sea and our fisheries and oceans.