years ahead, the PRPA announced a $5 million
Canadian partnership that will create a shore-based
radar system to cover the waters of the North Coast.
The project, which includes a $2 million Canadian
investment from Western Economic Diversification
Canada, will see three radar towers installed to provide
radar coverage 50 nautical miles west to the northern
tip of Haida Gwaii and north beyond the Alaska border. The TERMA Scanter 5102 radars will be installed
on an existing tower on Mount Hays, on Ridley Island
and on Dundas Island, located about 20 miles northwest of Prince Rupert.
“We’re improving our radar and navigational aids, so
we can have world-class, leading-edge approaches and
procedures for the safety, security and efficiency of the
port,” Krusel said.
Chief Superintendent Sean Bourrie of the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said the shore-based radar coverage of the British Columbia northern
coastline around Prince Rupert is an important contribution to Canada’s public safety and the strategic priorities of the RCMP.
“This tool will help us gather and analyze intelligence at the port and from the surrounding maritime
environment in support of our law enforcement initiatives,” he said.
As traffic grows, the importance of protecting the
safety and security of the ships, crews, cargoes and the
environment grows as well. The PRPA and several part-
ners are investing in a network of three surveillance
radars to provide coverage around the port, 50 miles
out to sea, and all the way into
The radar data will augment the
Automatic Identification System
(AIS) data from larger ships, as well
as benefiting the Canadian Coast
Guard, RCMP, Coastal Pilots and
other stakeholders. The radar will
permit the detection and tracking of
vessels not using AIS, as well as larger
commercial vessels and ferries, in all
Funding for the $5 million
Canadian project is being shared
by a consortium of stakeholders.
“With our local partners, we’re
making the port safer and more
secure, allowing us to develop the
port in a responsible and sustainable way,” Krusel said.
“Something as esoteric as mar-
itime safety and security on the
British Columbia coast has an
impact on the wheat fields of Manitoba or the store
shelves in Memphis,” he said.
The port is built on the hereditary lands of the Coast
“Part of any development that takes place in this
region has to include a benefits agreement with the
first nation, which creates revenue sharing on the traf-
fic, as well as opportunities for contracting and jobs on
the terminal,” Krusel said. “The growth of this port is
benefitting them, as well.”
While the community realizes it is dependent on glob-
al trade, it knows it cannot control the world economy.
“The types of movement of goods may change, so
we will have to be nimble and adapt to those changes,”
Despite the growth at the port, Prince Rupert re-
mains remote. There is one road, which parallels the
rail line. The next closest town is Terrace, 140 kilome-
ters away, with nothing in between. It’s the only
Canadian port on the Alaskan Marine Highway.
Ketchikan, Alaska, is a five-hour ferry ride away.
As a deckhand aboard the PRPA patrol boat, Kaleb
Fitzsimmons has seen the port grow from his water-level view. But it is still a wild place. There is always
something interesting to see, he said, including eagles
and ospreys, whales and orcas, not to mention the time
he rescued a fawn from two wolves that had chased it
into the water. ■
Special Correspondent Edward Lundquist reported from Prince
Rupert, British Columbia, Canada.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / OCTOBER 2015
The Fairview Container Terminal has a single marine berth that can handle
ships up to 13,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). The terminal is under-
going a major expansion to include a second berth and three new and larger
cranes to handle the biggest container ships. The project will grow the termi-
nal’s annual container capacity by 500,000 TEUs.