The Canadian Coast Guard Service upgraded it’s communications infrastructure using this Chinook helicopter on Oct. 4 and 5. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Chinooks fly in coast guard communications upgrades

The repeater sites will increase coverage along the north west coast

The roar of a chinook helicopter could be heard over Seal Cove on Oct. 4 and 5 as the Canadian Coast Guard installed two important new pieces of communications infrastructure.

The helicopter helped to deliver two radio repeater sites on Porcher Island and Maitland Island, which are 43 kilometres and 110 kilometres south of Prince Rupert respectively. The two repeater sites provide radio coverage in the areas they are installed, enabling the coast guard’s marine communications traffic services officers to direct marine traffic more effectively.

The service officers are the eyes and ears of the coast guard on the water that communicate with marine vessels traveling along the shoreline.

“It will provide our operators with increased coverage area, and a more robust system for monitoring marine activity,” said Jess Lawson, superintendent of MCI, Canadian Coast Guard Western Region. “When vessels are transitioning in waters, or in trouble or calling maydays, all that traffic goes through MCTS operators and they’re the ones that coordinate dispatch.”

Each site consisted of two buildings containing the power generation systems and radio equipment necessary to facilitate communications traffic in the area. Lawson said the site on Porcher Island will provide increased coverage for the north end of the Greenwald Channel while the site on Maitland Island will provide coverage for the Douglas Channel and the south end of the Greenwald Channel.

“Both sites will now be more reliable,” he added.

A chinook from Columbia Helicopters was used to do the heavy lifting, as a larger helicopter is required to lift such large loads. Lawson said the sites had to be lifted from a barge just off the coast of both islands to the location where they would be installed. Karen Trimmer, the chinook pilot, said the lifts went smoothly.

“We were expecting to be battling the normal October sideways rain, Prince Rupert weather, but we lucked out,” she said.

Now that the sites are in place, Lawson said the equipment will be tested throughout the winter and will likely be brought online in early 2017.

“There’s a break-in period for these things so we don’t initially just put traffic on them,” he said. “…once those tests come back, if everything comes back working the way it should…then we’ll commission them in the spring.”



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO and story: Heart of Our City — Join the club

Trish Banighen keeps a full schedule in Prince Rupert

Wolverine’s first open house

Questions answered on the Prince Rupert Fuels Service project for the port

Update: Youth to be charged for second degree murder and attempted murder

Prince Rupert RCMP have 17-year-old in custody after stabbing of 69-year-old couple on Oct. 18

Poetry festival travels to Rupert by train for Friday

Poetry readings from Canadian poets and open mic for writers from the region

Is Prince Rupert prepared for an earthquake?

B.C. ShakeOut earthquake drills took place across the province on Oct. 19

Practising for a ‘quake

Prince Rupert students did earthquake drill as a part of the Great British Columbia ShakeOut

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

Most Read