Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Coast Guard to Mariners: Stay away from small coastal communities

The Assistant Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard has called on the boating community to give a wide berth to small coastal communities during this time of COVID.

In a letter to yacht clubs delivered last week, Roger Girouard, the assistant commissioner of the Western Region of the Canadian Coast Guard for the most part just says Stay away.

As he asks recreational mariners to stay on dry land and not to take their craft to small harbours while the country continues to handle its response to COVID-19.

As part of his letter Girouard notes how the Coast Guard has responded to a growing number of SAR calls from this time last year and how that poses risks for personnel.

With the Coast Guard official outlining how each response puts Search and Rescue specialists at risk of exposure to the COVID virus and uses up their supplies of personal protective equipment.

The advisory for mariners also makes note that most of BC's Coastal communities don't want to see visitors this year anyways, with many having restrictions or outright bans on the prospect of tying up at a community dock.

Girouard also explains how the presence of visitors could have a serious impact on vulnerable community members and/or strain the health resources in many communities with limited medical care available

Among some of the themes of his correspondence:

"Today, on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, I am asking all mariners to once again come to the aid of others by avoiding non-essential trips and consider staying close to home to save lives as our country works to reduce the spread of COVID-19,

Unnecessary boating trips increase the risk to our operations and our ability to respond,

Your presence in an area could have a serious impact on vulnerable community members, and if you were to get sick, strain the limited health care resources of that community,"

And while the Coast Guard is warning off boaters away from coastal ports,  for now on the Prince Rupert waterfront, it seems to be a business as usual theme for the moment.

So far, in Prince Rupert there are no special instructions or advisories to be noted from the online presence for the Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club .

Nor are any to be found on the website for  City of Prince Rupert owned and operated Cow Bay marina or through their Facebook portal.

For more notes related to the Prince Rupert recreational waterfront see our archive page here.

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