Coriolis II in Bedford Basin, October 5, 2011.
Coriolis II is one of very few Canadian research ships of any significant size which is not operated directly by the Federal government. As a result it must seek work to support its upkeep, but it is also able to do interesting work such as this recent project.
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Operated out of Rimouski, QC for a consortium of universities and research institutes, the ship usually works in the St.Lawrence River and Gulf. However it has done some traveling before.
Built in 1990 by Versatile Pacific Shipyard in Victoria, BC for the Canadian Coast Guard, it was originally named 501. This rather unimaginative moniker was changed to CCGS John Jacobsen in 1992. It was one of two rescue cutters of the 500 class, the other becoming CCGS Gordon Reid.
The shipbuilder apparently substituted a steel superstructure for the aluminum one that its designers specified. This lead to serious stability issues. John Jacobsen was paid off in 2000 and renamed 2000-03 and was eventually sold to the present owners in 2002. The ship sailed on its own from Victoria to Rimouski via the Panama Canal and following a $10mn conversion to a research vessel entered service in 2003.
The stability issues were resolved and the ship has run successfully ever since.
On May 16, 2012 the ship struck an uncharted shoal off Pointe-des-Monts, QC, but following a survey in Baie-Comeau, the ship was quickly repaired and returned to service.