The Coast Guard Radio Marine Communications system has crashed again.
Unifor represents Coast Guard staff.
The union’s BC area director Gavin McGarrigle was asked what happens right now if a mariner runs into trouble and has to issue a distress call.
“Well they are basically saying that you can’t be calling Victoria you need to call up to Comox or the US Coast Guard. It is a pretty sad state of affairs when we are having to call the US Coast Guard when you are in Canadian waters. Again they just seem to want to shut things down without actually taking their time and figuring out what actually works for our coast.”
McGarrigle, says the system is down “until further notice.”
“There has been a safety notice to shipping that has been put out basically saying that the Victoria centre that monitors this that now monitors everything from Bowen Island, Watts Point, Annacis Island, Gabriola Island, Mount Park, Mount Newton, and Mount Helmcken they are unservicable. They are telling people to call the Comox station and the US Coast Guard.”
As for how long the system is offline for.
“Right now they are just monitoring the situation. They are putting out bulletins to people and they are basically saying these areas are unservicable until further notice. It is pretty distressing it is the summer time there are a lot of people on the water there is a lot of activity going on.”
McGarrigle say she has lost count of the number of times the communications system has crashed lately.
The Coast Guard says the system went down just after 11 this morning and was “partially restored” at 1:20pm.
Update 4:15pm – The Coast Guard says the marine communications system is now fixed and back up and running.