Engineers have discovered what they think is a design flaw in the plans for new vessels for the Coast Guard. They said the fault could cause the ships to capsize if they sailed into heavy seas in the open ocean.

The design flaw was found when the 2012 blueprint for the vessels was brought to the Vancouver Shipyards where the government-ordered ships were being built, according to a report from CBC News.

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The government, however, said that the issue has been “satisfactorily addressed by the shipyard engineering team.”

The changes to the design included the addition of 8.4 metres to the ship’s original length of 55 metres.


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This alteration bumped up the ships displacement by about 24 per cent or 610 tonnes. This means the ship will now travel half a knot slower.

Officials at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which oversees the Canadian Coast Guard, had previously admitted to CBC News there were design changes, but played down their significance.

A government spokesperson said the issue was related to “assumptions and calculations of weight and centres of gravity” which needed some changes.

However, the CBC learned that the shipbuilders believed the problem would have made the vessels unsafe to sail in open seas.