BC Coast Pilots leverage new technology to aid in the safe movement of vessels
One of the mitigation factors identified for the heavier tankers through the 2nd Narrows was a navigation system, independent of the ship’s existing equipment, to be carried by pilots. This evolved into the development of Portable Pilot Units (PPUs) for the BC Coast Pilots that are tailored for the unique pilotage conditions on the BC coast.
PPUs were developed in cooperation with the PPA and the British Columbia Chamber of Shipping. They are now required to be carried for 2nd Narrows transits, are used coast-wide in the province.
The use of technology and its adaptation will continue to be a consideration for the marine pilot profession. By making sure we are adapting to and making use of the best available technology, we will better be able to do our job. Senior marine pilots continue to receive ongoing training as ship technology evolves, and we will continue to stay engaged and up to date going forward. As an example, we are currently working with Regulators and Industry to enhance tug escort requirements for tankers moving from Vancouver to the Victoria Pilot station. While tug escorts have been a requirement for many years, new tug technology has recently come available for us to take advantage of to enhance safety.