Thunder Bay

Canadian Coast Guard moves communications from Thunder Bay

Mariners on Lake Superior in the Thunder Bay area can no longer radio a city based operator for help if they run into trouble.

Communications staff working in Thunder Bay offered other positions or options, Coast Guard says

The Canadian Coast Guard’s improved communications infrastructure promises to provide a more efficient delivery of services and reduced service disruptions. It will monitor the same area of coverage, as the network of radio and radar towers across the country will not change. (www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca)

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.

Greg Lick, the Canadian Coast Guard's director general of operations, says the modernization of marine communications and traffic services won't affect coverage for mariners. (linkedin.com)
"The radio towers that connect mariners to the centre, the radar towers which give us a radar picture of certain areas, those towers will remain exactly the same," he said. 

"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."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now