Glacier Society At Large Board of Advisors Biographies
Arctic Scout

Capt. Patrick Toomey, CCG Ret.

Capt. Patrick R. M. Toomey (Retired) Canadian Coast Guard, was born in England and started his sea career at the age of 15 as an officer cadet/apprentice in the British Merchant Navy, and sailed worldwide in cargo and passenger ships for six years. By 1960, he had earned his Master Mariner (Foreign-Going) Certificate in London and sailed worldwide as navigating officer of cargo ships and one cruise liner until 1964. That same year, he and his family moved to Canada, where he joined the Canadian Coast Guard, Atlantic Region, at Dartmouth, N.S.

Appointed first Cadet Supervisor at the founding of the Canadian Coast Guard College, Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1965, Toomey served in that capacity until 1967. That year, he transferred to Quebec Coast Guard Region, sailed throughout eastern Canadian waters, the Canadian Arctic and the Great Lakes to retirement in 1991 as the Senior Captain in the Canadian Coast Guard Fleet. He is bilingual in English and French.

Toomey’s first command in 1970 was the CCGS "Simcoe" out of Prescott, Ontario, working the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. In the subsequent 21 years, he commanded nine different Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers sailing in Canadian Arctic, the Great Lakes and eastern Canadian waters. From 1987-1989, he was the Senior Nautical Officer in charge of the "Polar 8" Icebreaker Project, and Captain-designate of the world's most powerful icebreaker (the program was terminated after two years’ design work and the ship was never built).
Special assignments for the Canadian Government took him to Senegal, West Africa in 1974; Iran in1975; Finland in 1982 and USSR in 1988.

Toomey has made 27 annual voyages to the Canadian Arctic, including 11 complete transits of the Northwest Passage (six eastbound, five westbound), three voyages to the North Pole, and seven to the Antarctic, including one complete circumnavigation of the Antarctic Continent.

Toomey serves as a Consultant Ice Navigation Specialist, principally acting as Ice Pilot for Russian icebreakers to the North Pole and Siberian waters, from Siberia to Greenland through the Canadian Arctic - and in the Antarctic from Argentina, New Zealand and Australia. He is called as expert witness in legal cases, has commissions for nautical and travel journalism, providing ice navigation training for Captains and navigators of cargo ships and icebreakers, reviewing books and technical publications for publishers and government departments, is a contributor to books on the Arctic and Antarctic, and to television programs on the Discovery Channel, CBC, Radio Canada and the History Channel.

Toomey is married with six children, including two daughters who are serving in the Canadian Coast Guard.




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