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CCGS Ernest Lapointe facts for kids

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Brise-glace Ernest Lapointe 01.jpg
Former CCGS Ernest Lapointe serving as a museum ship
Career (Canada)
Name: Ernest Lapointe
Namesake: Ernest Lapointe
Operator: Canadian Coast Guard
Port of registry: Montreal, Quebec
Ordered: 1939
Builder: Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon, Quebec
Yard number: 514
Launched: 25 November 1939
Completed: February 1941
Decommissioned: 1978
Homeport: Trois-Rivières, Quebec
Identification: IMO number: 5105829
Status: Museum ship since 1980
Quick facts for kids
General characteristics
Type: Light icebreaker
  • 1,179 GRT
  • 415 DWT
Displacement: 1,675 long tons (1,702 t) full load
Length: 172 ft (52.4 m)
Beam: 36 ft (11.0 m)
Draught: 16 ft (4.9 m)
  • Compound steam reciprocating engine, 2,000 ihp (1,491 kW)
  • 2 × shafts
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h)

CCGS Ernest Lapointe was a Canadian Coast Guard light icebreaker that served for 37 years. Completed in 1941, Ernest Lapointe was taken out of service in 1978. The ship was active along the East Coast of Canada and in the Saint Lawrence River. In 1980, the vessel was turned into a museum ship in Quebec.


Ernest Lapointe was a light icebreaker that had a displacement of 1,675 long tons (1,702 t) at full load and a tonnage of 1,179 gross register tons (GRT) and 415 tons deadweight (DWT). The ship was 172 feet (52.4 m) long with a beam of 36 feet (11.0 m) and a draught of 16 feet (4.9 m). The vessel was powered by a compound steam reciprocating engine driving two shafts creating 2,000 indicated horsepower (1,500 kW). This gave the icebreaker a maximum speed of 13 knots (24 km/h). The ship was initially designed to be powered by triple-expansion steam engines. However, during the Second World War, the ship bringing the engines to Canada was sunk in transit. In order to complete the ship, compound engines from tugboats were installed. The ship had two four-cylinder compound engines, each having two high-pressure and two low-pressure cylinders.

Service history

Ernest Lapointe was ordered from Davie Shipbuilding in 1939 and constructed at their yard in Lauzon, Quebec with the yard number 514. The vessel was launched on 25 November 1939, though construction was delayed due to priority given to the corvettes being built at the yard. The ship was completed in February 1941. The vessel was named for a former Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ernest Lapointe. Entering service during the Second World War, Ernest Lapointe was used to resupply the base at Goose Bay, Newfoundland. The icebreaker also aided N.B. McLean in the Saint Lawrence River.

Following the war, Ernest Lapointe was used primarily in the Saint Lawrence River as an icebreaker and survey vessel. Beginning in 1955 the ship was used for ceremonial occasions. In 1958 Ernest Lapointe carried a delegation to Godthaab, Greenland, and in 1964 was used to re-enact the arrival the Fathers of Confederation into Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The ship was taken out of service in 1978 and put up for disposal. In 1980 the vessel was acquired by the Maritime Museum of Quebec for use as a museum ship. The icebreaker was placed in a gravel-filled dock in L'Islet, Quebec.

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