Labrador area to lose Coast Guard ship

CBC News has learned the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Harp is being decommissioned.
Canadian Coast Guard vessel Harp. (CCG)

CBC News has learned the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Harp is being decommissioned.

The vessel is stationed in St. Anthony, but it's not clear how much longer it will be there.

The Harp is used for search and rescue along the province's shores but works primarily along the Labrador coast, in areas such as the Strait of Belle Isle and east of St. Anthony.

Merv Wiseman – a retired search and rescue co-ordinator who led the failed fight to keep the St. John's marine rescue centre open – said the Harp's future is unclear.

"The ship for the purpose of St. Anthony and that area -- for Newfoundland -- in fact -- will be decommissioned. Whether or not the ship is going to be used in another region, I just simply don't know at this stage," he said.

The seven-member crew is represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Regional vice-president Wayne Fagan said it's not clear if the workers will be laid off once the vessel is taken of service, or if they'll be moved into other positions.

Fagan said he hopes to learn more Tuesday during an internal Coast Guard meeting.