The Prince Rupert detachment of the Canadian Coast Guard officially received its new pollution response vessel at their base in Seal Cove on Friday. Just in time for Seafest.
The boat doesn’t have a name, just a number: CGE-731. Its a relatively small three-person craft designed. The boat itself is quite versatile, it can sail in shallow waters, there’s a loading ramp on the front that can be lowered to allow it to dock and unload equipment right onshore, or to mount equipment such as an oil skimmers out the front of the boat.
While the 731 is able to help clean up spills if need be, the Coast Guard points out that they are not the first-responders for cleaning up pollution. That responsibility lies with whoever caused the spill in the first place, if they Coast Guard can find them.
“Our job is a bit like a nagging aunt. When we see the mess, we find out who made it and make sure they clean it up,” jokes the coast guard’s assistant commissioner, Vija Poruks.
The Coast Guard hopes that if the 731 has to be used, that it will be there for support and coordinating the clean-up effort.
The boat will be on display during the Seafest weekend for people to see along with other service boats.