UPDATED: Wheatley Shipbuilder Wins Extended Coast Guard Contract

A significant amount of work has been contracted to a Wheatley ship manufacturer.

Hike Metal Products and a firm from Quebec have been granted the contract for eight new Canadian Coast Guard vessels.

Each shipyard will build four of the High Endurance Search and Rescue Lifeboats. Vice President of Operations and COO Steve Ingram Steve Ingram spoke to Patty Handysides on The Afternoon News. 

Ingram says the company already has more than 30-people working on existing projects in Wheatley.

"This is wonderful but it's going to be tough because we need resources. It's a good problem, but we need to add people, we're trying to start training programs and encourage more people to come here and work for us," he says. "Welders, pipe-fitters, painters, marine mechanical engineers, millwrights, this is a very hands on type industry. There's very little automation that we can use and typically we have two boats being built at all times."

He says it's a next generation vessel.

"It can roll over in rough water and self-right itself and stand up again, and of course has all the high-tech equipment. It's very fast, says Ingram, who added the ships are capable of operating up to 100 nautical-miles offshore.

The federal government will spend nearly $62-million to build the eight vessels in total.

— with files from AM800's Gord Bacon and Patty Handysides.