Vancouver boaters may have noticed several radio outages from the Canadian Coast Guard’s vessel traffic control system in the past few days.
But the Coast Guard’s director of operations, Greg Licke, insists this is a symptom of an aging system, and not part of an effort to consolidate services.
“With an aging system, we would normally experience more outages until we actually finish and complete the modernization of that equipment.”
Licke says there have been three outages — for 18, two and 27 minutes respectively.
They come after the federal government’s decision to close the Coast Guard’s communication centre in Vancouver and move it to Victoria.
And that means that when the system goes down, the centre can’t even have visual contact with vessels.
Licke says consolidating communications in Victoria will allow the Coast Guard to modernize their systems faster, in a bid to prevent these types of outages in the future.
The communication centre closure is one of several changes to the Coast Guard in Vancouver that have drawn immense public criticism, including the shuttering of the Kitsilano base in 2013.