Guiding deep sea vessels through busy, narrow local waterways during the recent gill net fishery has earned the Port of Nanaimo (PON) a letter of commendation from the British Columbia Coast Pilots Ltd. (BCCPL).
Dave Willows, Licensed Pilot, Master Mariner with the BCCPL, was the pilot on the Panamax bulk carrier Efraim A on October 24, and thanked Coxswain Luke Letham and Seaman Cam Ferguson for their work on the NPA Osprey. “After delivering me to the ship, Luke and Cam continued to help by keeping fishing vessels from setting their nets close to the Efraim A while we heaved anchor,” said Willows. “Once under way, they ran ahead and provided an escort both talking to vessels to ensure they knew we were coming, and assisting in spotting the end of nets. The work of Luke and Cam was of great assistance in keeping everyone on the water safe on Wednesday morning, and I would like to recognize them for their work and professionalism.”
Port of Nanaimo Chair Michelle Corfield was pleased with the acknowledgement, adding “The Port is proud to work with all our seafaring friends and help to keep everyone safe as they travel through Nanaimo Harbour. The Marine Domain Awareness (MDA) system enables Port of Nanaimo real time video of all activity on the water that enable us pinpoint issues as they occur and respond in a timely manner.”
Port Co-CEO Mike Davidson notes that as part of their basic marine training, Marine Patrol staff have first aid and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) training for medical responses. “During the fishery opening in Nanaimo Harbour, Patrol staff were first responders to a medical alert and had to commence with CPR and the use of an AED on the individual,” says Davidson, noting that the individual was transported to an awaiting ambulance and then to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
Ongoing training ensures safe passages for freighters and ferries. Port of Nanaimo’s two patrol vessels, the Eagle and Osprey, attend to each in-bound and out-bound Deep-Sea vessel that utilizes the Port’s anchorages and works with the BC Coast Pilot if needed for the anchorage location. PON patrol ensure the vessel stays within the anchorage radius for the duration of the stay.
“Port of Nanaimo vessels will attend all manned life boat drills to ensure the safety of ships personnel during the lowering/launching of the lifeboats,” says Port Co-CEO Ian Marr. “When requested, PON vessels have been used by BC Ferries, Seaspan Ferries and BC Coast Pilots on Deep-Sea vessels for escort.”
Seven days a week, PON vessels also patrol for debris and deadhead logs in a waters of the federal harbour limits, including BC Ferries and Deep-Sea terminals. The Port also manages a debris contractor with land and marine based equipment. Their main tasks are keeping an eye on marine activity, ensuring Transport Canada regulations are followed as identified by the Canada Marine Act, Marine Transportation Security Regulations are observed, as well as those of the PON Practices and Procedures.
Port Vice-Chair Donna Hais notes that Port of Nanaimo staff are trained to recognize security risks and threats within their work station and around the port. “All RCMP National Critical Infrastructure Team Bulletins and Integrated Terrorism Assessment Special Event bulletins are reviewed by the Port Security Officer and disseminated through the departments,” she states.
Adds Davidson: “All in a day’s work, for a safe, secure and clean working harbour.”