Canadian Coast Guard moves communications from Thunder Bay
Communications staff working in Thunder Bay offered other positions or options, Coast Guard says
Mariners on Lake Superior in the Thunder Bay area can no longer radio a city based operator for help if they run into trouble.
Since May 29, vessel operators have been talking to a communications base in Sarnia as part of a national project to modernize marine communications and traffic services.
The change does not affect coverage for mariners, said Greg Lick, the Canadian Coast Guard's director general of operations.
"They're just being connected with the modern technology to different centres."
He said that modernization makes the centres more efficient and allowed the coast guard to consolidate a number of centres.
The emergency response for mariners in trouble remains the same — with no changes to the vessels or staffing at Thunder Bay's Coast Guard search and rescue base, Lick said.
Communications staff who were working in Thunder Bay were offered other positions or options, he added.
The change is part of a national project to modernize the marine communications and traffic services at centres across the country.
"We've actually updated the technology, which was 80s and 90s technology. We've updated that to very modern communications systems," Lick continued.
"So we've always talked about it as sort of moving from the rotary or maybe the push-button phone up to a smart-phone technology. That's a good example or comparison."