Hero-Class Ship Launched by Irving Shipbuilding in Honour of Captain Nichola Goddard, First Female Canadian Soldier Killed in Combat in Afghanistan

May 20, 2014 (Halifax, NS):  The ninth and final Canadian Coast Guard Hero-Class Patrol Vessel, also known as a Mid-shore Patrol Vessel, was launched the morning of Saturday, May 17th from Halifax Shipyard in honour of Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard (May 2, 1980 - May 17, 2006). Each of the nine vessels in the program was named after fallen personnel from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Coast Guard, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Canadian Forces who performed heroic acts during their service.

There to witness the launch of CCGS Captain Goddard M.S.M. was Tim and Sally Goddard, Nichola’s parents, as well as their daughters Kate and Victoria, and Nichola’s great-aunt, Anne West.  “To have a ship named after one of your daughters is such an incredible honour,” said Tim Goddard, “and it is a fitting legacy for Nichola that her name will continue to be part of the protection of our country.”

Captain Goddard was killed on May 17, 2006 in Afghanistan during a firefight in the Panjwaye District while serving with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as a forward observation officer. Her parent unit was the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. Goddard was the first female soldier to be killed in combat and the 16th soldier Canada lost in Afghanistan.

Internationally acclaimed rock band, The Trews, wrote the hit “Highway of Heroes” in memory of Captain Goddard. The band is from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where Goddard went to high school. She has also been honoured with a Calgary school built and named in her memory, and her legacy lives on through the work of the Nichola Goddard Foundation.

The $194 million contract for the nine Canadian Coast Guard Mid-shore Patrol Vessels was awarded to Irving Shipbuilding on September 2, 2009.  CCGS Captain Goddard M.S.M. will now undergo further construction and finish work while alongside in preparation for her sea trials in late summer. The final vessel is expected to be delivered to Canadian Coast Guard early this fall.

“Great care and attention has gone into each of these vessels. We are honoured to have had the opportunity to construct such an important set of ships for Canada – especially as they so aptly honour those Canadians who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” said Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding, as he presented the Goddard’s with a commemorative ship’s bell on behalf of the men and women of Irving Shipbuilding.  The bell is an exact replica of the one installed on CCGS Captain Goddard M.S.M.

About Irving Shipbuilding
Irving Shipbuilding is part of the J.D. Irving, Limited Group of companies and is in the business of building quality ships and repairing vessels. The company’s primary site is Halifax Shipyard, with three other locations in the Maritime Provinces. Irving Shipbuilding was selected in 2011 as Canada’s Combatant Shipbuilder under the merit-based National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and is in the early stages of a 30-year military shipbuilding program. It is currently working on a number of significant projects for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard.

- 30 –

Contacts:
Deborah Page
Irving Shipbuilding
Office:  (902) 484-4552
Cell:  (902) 499-7975
page.deborah@irvingshipbuilding.com

Mary Keith
J.D. Irving, Limited
Office:  (506) 632-5122
Cell:  (506) 650-8209
keith.mary@jdirving.com

May2014_Hero2 
Sally, Kate, Tim and Victoria Goddard in front of CCGS Captain Goddard M.S.M. during her launch May 17, 2014 at Halifax Shipyard.  The Honourable Peter MacKay and Irving Shipbuilding President Kevin McCoy present the family with a commemorative ship’s bell, on behalf of the men and women of Irving Shipbuilding.
May2014_Hero3
Sally, Kate, Tim and Victoria Goddard, and Great-Aunt Anne West, in front of CCGS Captain Goddard M.S.M. during her launch May 17, 2014 at Halifax Shipyard.  The ninth Hero-class Mid-Shore Patrol Vessel is named for their daughter Captain Nichola Goddard, Canada’s first female soldier to die in combat in Afghanistan.
May2014_Hero4 
Captain Nichola Goddard’s sisters Kate and Victoria Goddard witnessed the launch of CCGS Captain Goddard M.S.M. on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Halifax Shipyard.  The ninth Hero-class Mid-Shore Patrol Vessel is named for their sister Captain Nichola Goddard, Canada’s first female soldier to die in combat in Afghanistan.
  May2014_Hero1
Tim Goddard, father of Captain Nichola Goddard, looks on as Hero-Class Ship #9 is launched on Saturday, May 17 by Irving Shipbuilding.  The vessel is named in honour of his daughter, Canada’s first female soldier to die in combat in Afghanistan.