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

Missing teen reportedly spotted in Northwest

Police, family greatly concerned over disappearance of Colten Therrin Fleury

Police, Conservation see busy long weekend

Arrests, tickets and warnings follow joint-enforcement initiative

Injury forces end to hiker’s Pacific Crest Trail attempt

Due home this week, Janine Wilson still determined to finish challenge in the future

Vancouver choir to perform joint-concert with two local ensembles

Concert will take place on Saturday, May 26 at the Knox United Church

Construction of LNG Canada plant still on hold

Construction will only begin following a positive final investment decision

Syrian refugee fathers thriving at Skeena Sawmills in Terrace

With work at the mill, the Al Kadro family bought a home and is settling into the local community

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Most Read