‘State of the art’ pilot boat completed in Campbell River

'State of the art' pilot boat completed in Campbell River
Ocean Pacific Marine

A Vancouver Island marine store and boatyard has completed a ‘state of the art’ pilot boat for the Pacific Pilotage Authority.

The 19.9-metre boat called the Pacific Guardian was built by Ocean Pacific Marine Store and Boatyard in Campbell River and is claimed to be “the most advanced pilot vessel in Canada” due to its emissions control system, which aims to slash nitrogen oxide emissions by 70 per cent.

It also has a Carmac-designed alloy hull allowing for enhanced efficiency that meets Tier 3 emissions reduction, and two powerful 1,000 horsepower diesel engines designed to cruise at more than 25 knots.

The vessel will join a fleet in the Pacific Pilotage Authority — a government organization that aims to provide safe, reliable and efficient marine pilotage and related services in coastal B.C. waters including the Fraser River — with four other vessels.

According to Ocean Pacific, this new boat will aid the authority in carrying out piloting duties efficiently while incorporating the latest in boat design, build, and technology.

Piloting involves having experienced local pilots guide certain ships such as oil rigs through Canadian waters, like the Georgia Strait, to its port of call, according to Clear Seas. It is designed to allow for safe passage for boats and captains in unfamiliar waters and regulations.

Pilots are dispatched and travel to the ship in special pilot boats and board the ship using a ladder. Once on board, they are responsible for guiding the ship to ensure the boat reaches its destination without issue.

There are over 400 licensed pilots in Canada in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes and West Coast.

READ MORE: Cowichan Lake boaters rescue pilot of crashed float plane

Justin WaddellJustin Waddell

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