Notes from "Soundings", June 1962:
1) The C.H.L. (Canadian Hydrographic Launch) "Richardson" was launched at the Star Shipyards, New Westminster, on 31 March 1962. Mr R.B. Young, Regional Hydrographer, made a brief but pertinent speech. Mrs. Young then stepped forward and said, "I name this vessel 'Richardson', God bless her, and all who sail in her". She then swung the champagne bottle mightily, and duly christened the vessel.
2) The launch was named after (or for) Sir John Richardson, explorer of the Canadian North during the mid-nineteenth century.
3) Registered at Ottawa, No. 318526, the C.H.L. "Richardson" was formally accepted on 18 May 1962, by Mr. R. F. Swain on behalf of the Canadian Hydrographic Service, following successful trials on the West Coast.
Length - 61'.3 at water level, 65'.0 overall.
Beam - 16'.8. Depth - 8".0. Total gross tonnage - 59.27 tons.
Cost - $ 143,776.65
4) "Richardson" is not a very large vessel, and certainly seems mighty small when a voyage into the high Arctic is considered, but she is compact and appears well built and should prove adequate to do the job for which she was designed. She will be fitted with all the latest electronic navigational equipment, and is capable of steaming in excess of 2000 miles without refueling.
5) Her normal complement will consist of two hydrographers, one of whom will be in command of the vessel, a ships engineer and three crew members. Additional bunk space is provided for two more persons for short term projects and in cases of emergency.
6) Her Master and Hydrographer-in-Charge will be Mr. T.D.W. McCulloch. The "Richardson" will depart for Alaskan waters about the 1st July 1962.
In 1966 the "Richardson" returned to the B.C. coast for quadriennial inspection and refit in Victoria. On return to Tuktoyaktuk in July 1967 she was caught in heavy ice off Point Barrow. She was badly damaged and there was a real possibility of losing her. When ice conditions at one time permitted the CCGS "Camsell" and the USCGC "Northwind" managed to respond to her "mayday" signal. Between the two they managed to tow the "Richardson" to Tuktoyaktuk where repairs were carried out.