The AMWAAL was blessed by Sm’ooygit Gitxoon (Hereditary Chief Alex Campbell) and Sm’ooygit Niist’ooyx (Hereditary Chief Clarence Nelson) in the Ts’msyen tradition. (photo courtesy of the Prince Rupert Port Authority)

The AMWAAL was blessed by Sm’ooygit Gitxoon (Hereditary Chief Alex Campbell) and Sm’ooygit Niist’ooyx (Hereditary Chief Clarence Nelson) in the Ts’msyen tradition. (photo courtesy of the Prince Rupert Port Authority)

New Prince Rupert Port Authority vessel honours Ts’msyen culture

The AMWAAL was blessed by the Lax Kw’alaams hereditary chiefs’ council

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) held a vessel blessing celebration in honour of its newest harbour patrol vessel, the AMWAAL, on Wednesday.

The vessel and the harbour safety team are that crew the AMWAAL are apart of PRPA’s commitment to marine safety. The new vessel features equipment including navigation, communications, surveillance, marine fire fighting and high-speed jet-drive maneuverability.

The AMWAAL was blessed by Sm’ooygit Gitxoon (Hereditary Chief Alex Campbell) and Sm’ooygit Niist’ooyx (Hereditary Chief Clarence Nelson) in the Ts’msyen tradition. The name AMWAAL is derived from the Sm’algyax word meaning ‘prosperity’.

The name AMWAAL was chosen in consultation with Ts’msyen hereditary leaders and PRPA’s board of directors and means prosperity. (photo courtesy of the Prince Rupert Port Authority)

“The Lax Kw’alaams hereditary chiefs’ council is pleased that the Prince Rupert Port Authority is honouring our culture through not only a traditional Ts’msyen vessel blessing, but also by choosing to name the vessel AMWAAL. We share the value of protecting our waters with the Prince Rupert Port Authority and are impressed with the marine safety enhancements the vessel brings to the North Coast,” Sm’ooygit Gitxoon (Hereditary Chief Alex Campbell) of the Lax Kw’alaams Hereditary Chiefs’ Council, stated.

The name was chosen in consultation with Ts’msyen hereditary leaders and PRPA’s board of directors as a symbol of shared, long-term community benefits that have resulted from port opportunities, PRPA stated.

READ MORE: Port of Prince Rupert receives $153.7 M investment for three infrastructure projects

The vessel will also provide access to outer anchorages and local communities, and has a stable platform for PRPA’s in-house environmental monitoring programs and strengthened search and rescue support capability via onboard direction-finding equipment. The addition of theAMWAAL enhances the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s marine safety presence and allows staff to continue making a safe port even safer, stated PRPA.

AMWAAL is the newest vessels added to the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s fleet. (photo courtesy of the Prince Rupert Port Authority)

“We are proud to welcome the AMWAAL to our fleet, especially in a way that honours maritime tradition on the North Coast,” Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the PRPA said. “Marine safety is a top priority of the Prince Rupert Port Authority and we are deeply committed to ensuring that vessels transiting our waters do so in a safe and sustainable manner. As the Port of Prince Rupert continues to grow, investments in marine safety enhancements such as the addition of the AMWAAL contribute to leading edge marine safety resources at the Prince Rupert gateway.”

READ MORE: Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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