"You won't get any thanks for this, you realize?" My brother-in-law John is talking to Mickey, a Gabriola Island buddy with a 35-foot sailboat and the willingness to tow us home. "Not the damsels-in-distress routine, you mean?" "God, no, that's not going to work. Won't go over at all well." Gill and I are on… Continue reading Gabriola Pass without an engine
Better late than never, I’ve been plugging my way through the marine side of Enbridge’s application to bring supertankers into B.C.’s northwestern waters. Last weekend, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw Enbridge’s huge advert in The Vancouver Sun claiming its Northern Gateway project would make “B.C.’s North Coast safer for… Continue reading Enbridge releases tanker plans for Kitimat
By Alison Bate First published in Maritime Magazine, Fall 2009 Vancouver longshore worker Karen Crossan stood in the ghostly dispatch hall looking vainly for work on tonight's graveyard shift. "I'm bored and I am broke," she said, after learning there was no work that night, yet again. "There were 150 jobs for the afternoon shift,… Continue reading B.C. longshore casuals take a beating
By Alison Bate It was dark and sleepy as I drove down to Snug Cove at 5:30 a.m. yesterday, but every house had its lights on. I parked the car, offloaded my bike and pedalled across the cool damp field to Snug Cove. I passed walkers with their headlights on as I trundled across the… Continue reading Bowen Island’s Olympic moment
By Alison Bate When a ship gets into trouble off the remote west coast of Vancouver Island, there are very few rescue services around. The province relies on a commercial tug in the area being able to help out. Currently, major seagoing tugs carry electronic tracking devices so they can be located in real-time on… Continue reading What if a containership ran aground on Nootka Island?
By Alison Bate I must admit I was a little surprised not to get a straight answer from Transport Canada at first about the number of tug escorts traveling with condensate tankers into Kitimat. I assumed it was clearly set down in the legislation whether tankers carrying this kind of hydrocarbon mixture required tug escorts… Continue reading Tug escort rules vary in B.C.
By Alison Bate What would happen if a tanker on its way to Kitimat collided with a tug in the scenic Inside Passage? According to the author of a new report, major flaws would be exposed in the way marine accidents are handled here in British Columbia. "Nobody is essentially watching the store - at… Continue reading What if a tanker heading for Kitimat hit another vessel?