Launching the Lauzier

(May. 14, 1998, Gazette)

By Diana Quinton

The sea was unusually calm last week while the Lauzier escorted industry, government and university representatives through the Narrows for a quick tour. The Louis M. Lauzier is the university's newest training and research vessel. Leased from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans earlier this year, the ship is managed by the Marine Institute at its south side campus.

During the tour of the Lauzier, Dr. Arthur May was aboard to get a feel for the capabilities of the vessel first hand.

"There's no better way for our students to learn about the marine environment than to be there," said Dr. May. "Our marine training and research efforts will be greatly enhanced with the addition of the Lauzier."

Since early spring, the Lauzier has been a hub of activity. Students at the Marine Institute use the ship to gain hands-on experience.

Students from the marine environmental and nautical science diplomas of technology and the presea deckhand technical certificate programs use the Lauzier to undertake such activities as collecting and analyzing water samples and learning navigational techniques. Nautical science students are involved in maintenance activities on the Lauzier, including cleanup and painting. Students help to modify the vessel to prepare her for individual trips, and to load specialized equipment on board.

The Offshore Safety and Survival Centre uses the Lauzier to undertake basic safety and fast rescue craft training.

Basic survival training provides offshore personnel with an understanding of the hazards associated with working in an offshore environment, how to react effectively to offshore emergencies, and how to care for themselves and others in a survival situation. The students spend one day training aboard the Lauzier during the five-day course. So far, the Lauzier has helped train close to 150 people through 12 BST courses.

Fast rescue craft training is designed to provide marine and offshore personnel with the skills to participate as a team member of a fast rescue craft. During the four-day course, students spend approximately half a day aboard the Lauzier.

Capt. Ben Hammett of the Lauzier is confident Memorial's newest vessel has the versatility, space and the technical capabilities to meet the needs of its users.

"We often accommodate two groups of students on the deck at the same time, such as marine environmental and BST students," he said. "Both groups have sufficient deck space to undertake their work."

In the works for the Lauzier is a research refit. The refit will equip the ship with research equipment, such as sampling winches, to augment the wet labs and other research capabilities on board. The Lauzier will be well suited for research in both earth and life sciences.

Lauzier Facts