STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Built in 1957 in Nova Scotia, Canada, and commissioned in 1958, the Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaking buoy tender Nokomis is available — for free — and needs a new owner and home by April 15.

The Nokomis (photo from the Canadian CG site Archives

The seaworthy ship — now in the water at a marina between Annapolis and Baltimore, Md. — can penetrate 24 inches of fresh-water ice, said owner John Kopke, 70, who was born in Bayonne, N.J., and is a U.S. Coast Guard combat veteran who served as a captain on search-and-rescue patrol boats and weather ships on ocean stations in the North Atlantic.

“She can go 12 knots through 24 inches of ice. She’s a Thunder Bay boat, out of Ottawa, Canada. I’d trust my life to her,” Kopke said.

The Nokomis (photo from the Canadian CG site Archives


Now retired, he lacks the financial resources to keep and repair the ship, and his contract with the Maryland marina expires on April 15, Kopke told the Advance.

“I can’t continue to dock her,” he said, noting that it costs him over $7,000 a year to keep the ship at the Maryland marina.

The 100-ton ship is free for the taking, but there is one catch:

She needs to be towed because the exhaust manifold is cracked.

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