Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Safe Navigation System now in place for Prince Rupert harbour

Prince Rupert's Seal Cove
Marine Traffic Centre will
soon be making use of a
new shore based radar system
The latest addition towards safe navigation of the approaches to Prince Rupert harbour is in place, with the final installation now complete for a shore based radar system that will provide coverage that extends to the northeast of Haida Gwaii and as far north as Alaskan border.

Twenty crates holding the components for the Shore based system arrived at the Prince Rupert Coast Guard base last week, the last leg of the journey to Prince Rupert following a departure from France.

Testing will take place over the next few months to break in the new equipment and train Coast Guard personnel in the new addition to their navigation equipment at the Seal Cove facility.

It's anticipated that the new system will go live on line in July.

The five million dollar project which was jointly funded by the Port of Prince Rupert, RCMP and  Western Economic Diversification Canada, operation and maintenance of the system will be provided by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Three locations are being used for the system with elevated radar sites at Prince Rupert Grain, Mount Hays and Dundas Island providing Seal Cove with eyes far off into the distance away from the harbour entrance.

The plan for the shore based radar project was first introduced in July of 2015

The new 5 million dollar shore based radar system will make use of
stations located at Dundas Island, Mount Hays and Prince Rupert Grain

A second safety enhancement is also in place to serve better navigation of the inner harbour with the announcement of the Kaien Island Sector Light project, the 500,000 dollar visual aid to identify the centre of the navigation channel. Like the shore based radar system it will be maintained by the Coast Guard.

Captain Gary Paulson, the Prince Rupert Harbour Master and Vice President of Operations for the Port outlined the scope of the additional items in the goal of safe transit of Prince Rupert harbour and the partnerships that the Port has formed towards safety issues.

“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,”  ... “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.”

The most recent statistics from the Port note that there are nearly 500 annual commercial vessel calls at Port facilities, traffic that mixes with the local recreational and fishing vessels in the region on a daily basis.

More background on the two safety additions can be found here.

The additional safety measures come as expansion plans continue for the Fairview Container Terminal and a range of other industrial projects continue to move forward in the region, which could bring increases to shipping levels out of the Port of Prince Rupert.

For more items related to Port developments see our archive page here.

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