From fishing boats bringing in their fresh catch and kayaks bobbing on the waves of the inner harbour, to the large shipping vessels anchored further out, the waters around Prince Rupert are used for diverse activities. Who keeps track of everything coming and going, and ensures the safety and security of people, the environment and property?
When it comes to planning, monitoring and managing large vessel movements, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) coordinates with the Canadian Coast Guard and BC Coast Pilots from its Port Security Operations Centre (PSOC). It’s a central hub of advanced technology and trained staff, who are monitoring activity around the Prince Rupert Gateway, ensuring an effective and efficient response to any incident within PRPA’s jurisdiction.
The state-of-the-art PSOC opened in 2017, and last year PRPA created a new role that would further integrate security and marine safety operations at the facility. The Port’s new team of Gateway Operators are cross trained, rotating through different positions on both land and on the water, by working in PSOC, conducting administrative tasks, and serving with the Harbour Patrol Vessel Crew. Gateway Operator Giuliana Hauknes joined the team in 2020. Born and raised in the community, she was excited to take on a new role that supports safety for everyone that uses the harbour, whether it’s for work or recreation.
“Day and night, our team is the eyes and ears of the Port of Prince Rupert, no matter the conditions we are ready to respond,” said Hauknes. “We provide an important service to our Gateway partners and to the broader community, by putting their safety and security at the forefront. As the Port develops and expands, as a Rupertite it is reassuring to know our team has the skilled staff and high-tech tools needed to help it grow sustainably.”
Infrastructure investments to make a safe port even safer
To carry out their day-to-day operations, Gateway Operators track information using satellite and radar technology, as well as live harbour data collected from around the Prince Rupert Gateway. Much of this information, including measurements on currents, wave height, and wind speed, is available in real-time to the public on PRPA’s website. With a few clicks of a button, anyone can view readings from the three new current sensors placed at Fairview and Pembina Terminals, and in Porpoise Channel. They can also track data from two new tide sensors at those terminals, along with new wind and wave sensors in the Inner Harbour, at Flora Bank, and Triple Island.
“This information not only helps inform our efforts to maintain the highest safety standards for Port-related activity, but it also supports the other users of the Prince Rupert Harbour. Anyone who is planning a trip on the water, whether it’s a fishing or passenger vessel, can benefit from our live harbour data,” said Hauknes.
To learn more about how PRPA helps manage marine safety visit www.rupertport.com/sustainability/.