Rupert Port Enhances Safe Shipping

March 30, 2016

PRINCE RUPERT – The Port of Prince Rupert has announced completion of critical milestones in the implementation of marine safety enhancement projects achieved together with partner agencies.

In collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), as well as input from the Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA) and BC Coast Pilots (BCCP), the Port has successfully established another aid to navigation with advanced technology capabilities at the mouth of Prince Rupert’s Fairview Channel.

Prince Rupert’s shore-based radar project also progressed toward completion with the arrival of several tonnes of technical equipment last week.

Over the past five years the Port of Prince Rupert has invested millions of dollars in capital to assess risk, streamline practices and procedures, and create a marine safety regime rivalling the world’s largest ports.

The Kaien Island Sector Light is the second such enhancement to navigational safety funded by the Port through a Memorandum of Understanding signed with CCG in 2014, and provides mariners with a visual aid to identify the centre of the safe deep water navigation channel for ships arriving and departing the inner harbour. Like the radar system, the $500,000 navigation aid will be maintained by CCG and contribute to improved navigation safety of the Port of Prince Rupert’s nearly 500 annual commercial vessel calls.

Equipment for the shore-based radar system was customized for Prince Rupert before being shipped from France under the supervision of Port Authority staff. The twenty crates and pallets arrived intact at the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) base in Seal Cove last week.

The delivery included all radar components that will be used to establish three elevated radar sites (Prince Rupert Grain, Mount Hays and Dundas Island) that will provide shore based radar coverage extending to the northeast of Haida Gwaii as far north as the Alaskan border.

The $5 million project was funded jointly by the Port of Prince Rupert, RCMP and Western Economic Diversification Canada, with ongoing operation and maintenance provided by CCG, and is expected to be operational in July.

“These projects represent significant investments by the Port of Prince Rupert to ensure industry leading marine safety and security practices are in place to accommodate the significant growth in Canadian trade being contemplated within our jurisdiction,” said Captain Gary Paulson, Harbour Master and Vice President of Operations for the Port of Prince Rupert. “The strong partnerships we’ve established with agencies like Canadian Coast Guard and Pacific Pilotage Authority allow us to proactively plan for increased vessel traffic as a result of our current expansion and proposed developments.”

Through a process of continuous engagement with all its stakeholders, from local recreational harbour users to the marine pilots that navigate the 1,000-foot commercial vessels, the Port has been strengthening the systems in place that make a naturally safe harbour even safer.

The Port of Prince Rupert has one of the deepest ice-free harbours in the world. It possesses direct, unobstructed access to the commercial shipping lanes of the Pacific Ocean. The harbour, with its broad approach channels, is capable of handling all sizes and types of vessels used in Trans-Pacific trade.

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