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Rigorous sea trials

Jan 1, 2003

Before being commissioned, this 47-foot motor lifeboat,recently built for the Canadian Coast Guard for search-and-rescue operations on the West Coast, needed to undergo a test rollover. The boat passed the test, according to Bob Clark of Metal Craft Marine of Kingston, Ontario, builders of the vessel; water never entered the engine vents despite the 360° roll.

The high-performance search-and-rescue vessel is a modified version of the popular 47-footer that serves the U.S. Coast Guard out of ports around the country. The Canadian Coast Guard received the drawings for the boat through the Defense Sharing Agreement and have since built one of its own and have plans for at least six others.

The vessel's engines, a pair of Caterpillar 3196 diesels, are vented by a series of waterproof plenams that keep water out in a rollover. The vessels can theoretically continue a search-and-rescue mission after being rolled. Cape Sutil was delivered by truck in early March to serve in Victoria, British Columbia.