Marine Operations & Safety


Maintaining a reputation for industry-leading marine safety.


Operational Excellence

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is responsible for the oversight of the Port’s integrated operations and their future expansion. It ensures that present and future operations are coordinated in a safe, sustainable, and responsible manner.

A commitment to safe shipping is part of who we are. The foundation of the Port of Prince Rupert’s prosperity lies in the procedures designed to keep vessels moving safely — and goods flowing securely — in and out of the Prince Rupert Harbour.

Planning for this growth is central to our mandate and PRPA is continuously evolving to improve the practices and procedures required to maintain world-class navigational safety standards.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is committed to going above and beyond its regulatory duties to ensure the safe, secure, and environmentally responsible movement of vessels and their cargoes through the Port.


Safe Harbour

The Port of Prince Rupert has one of the deepest year-round ice-free harbours in the world. It possesses direct, unobstructed access to Pacific commercial shipping lanes. The harbour, with its broad approach channels, is capable of handling all sizes and types of vessels, including the largest available, used in transpacific trade.

Hundreds of commercial vessels call on the Port of Prince Rupert each year and coordinating their safe arrival and departure involves a team of partners working together. Local experts and organizations collaborate to apply industry-leading practices in vessel handling and harbour safety.

Coordinated effort between the Canadian Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services, the Pacific Pilotage Authority, BC Coast Pilots, SMIT Marine, the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the Prince Rupert Port Authority ensures collective oversight and safe passage of every vessel, providing round-the-clock safeguards.

The result is a global reputation for navigational safety. As the number of vessels calling on the Port of Prince Rupert potentially doubles over the next decade, maintaining that reputation is a priority.


Preparing for Growth

PRPA places an emphasis on long-term planning, integrating activities and proactively defining and reducing risk. As part of its ongoing commitment to safe, responsible and sustainable growth, the Prince Rupert Port Authority is planning and preparing for new terminal developments, growth in vessel traffic, and potential new cargoes.

By applying international best-in-class procedures at the Port and engaging with PRPA’s navigational service partners and local user groups to review its practices and procedures, the safety and efficiency of Port operations meets the highest standards and will only continue to improve.

Potential measures under consideration include:

  • Safe transit zones for designated vessels such as LNG carriers
  • Traffic separation patterns to define specific routes for specific types of vessels
  • Increased use of escort vessels to ensure other vessels maintain safe distances
  • Increased tug requirements to ensure safe vessel transit and provide for additional power and safety equipment if needed
  • Enhancement of navigational aids and communication technology
  • Established operating limits for conditions such as weather, visibility, and daylight

By measuring risk, understanding challenges before they arrive, and having solutions in hand, we remain prepared to safely accommodate any and all classes of ships within our diverse port complex, both today and in the future.


Port Security and Emergency
Preparedness Committee

Comprised of the City of Prince Rupert public safety professionals and industry security and safety representatives from throughout the Port, the Port Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee enables a cooperative and coordinated approach to Port and community safety.

The committee, which meets on a quarterly basis, hosts a forum where security and emergency preparedness information can be discussed, and best practices shared amongst all participants. The diverse membership of the committee allows it to draw upon its collective expertise, to identify gaps in service and to work towards effective solutions.


Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

Providing an efficient and effective response to any emergency affecting Port-related operations is the goal of the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). Operating under the internationally recognized Incident Command System (ICS), the Port’s EOC is staffed by employees specifically trained in emergency operations.

To facilitate an effective response, the Prince Rupert Port Authority has developed standard operating procedures for a myriad of emergencies, which collectively form its emergency management plan. To maintain expertise, our EOC staff receive specialized emergency management training and participate in regular exercises designed to test emergency plans and procedures. 

In 2017, the Prince Rupert Port Authority EOC was re-located to our Scott Road facility and now features state-of-the-art resources to ensure a coordinated control centre response to any emergency situation.


Port Security

Integral to our global reputation and the continued success of the Port is our safety and security practices. The world-class standards employed at the Port of Prince Rupert contribute to this reputation and any plans for future growth. Providing a safe and secure environment instils confidence in investment and for the community in which we operate. Security is provided in a multi-layered approach, utilizing sophisticated technology such as cameras, card access controls and other electronic monitoring systems, coupled with physical patrols, and static guard positions. Security measures at the Port are continually assessed and adjusted to meet evolving demands. 


Port Security Operations Centre (PSOC)

The PSOC represents a sophisticated data fusion centre, bringing marine and land information together to create a comprehensive overview of Port safety and security. Staffed 24/7, the PSOC monitors marine traffic and anchorages, in addition to land and water approaches to all Port facilities. It is the central information hub for the Port of Prince Rupert’s safety and security matters and ensures an effective and efficient response to any incident.

A new, state-of-the-art Port Security Operations Centre at our Scott Road facility opened in 2017. The new centre has improved round-the-clock monitoring of Port properties and the Prince Rupert Harbour and has enhanced PRPA’s ability to mobilize coordinated responses to any incidents within our jurisdiction.

In 2017, the Prince Rupert Port Authority EOC was re-located to our Scott Road facility and now features state-of-the-art resources to ensure a coordinated control centre response to any emergency situation.


Tide and Current Sensors

Collaboration with Canadian Hydrographic Services resulted in the installation of two new tide sensors and one more current sensor at the Port’s Roll-On-Roll-Off facility, bringing the total number of tide sensors deployed by PRPA in the Prince Rupert area to four and the total number of current sensors to one.

The two new tide sensors and the new current sensor are transmitting live data via the Government of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, while the original two tide sensors continue to transmit live data via PRPA’s Tide Sensors.

View our live harbour data.


Automatic Identification System (AIS) Initiative

The Prince Rupert Port Authority embarked on an Automatic Identification System initiative, in conjunction with shore-based radar, in 2017 to improve vessel visibility.

AIS is an automatic tracking system that uses transponders on vessels to allow other mariners and authorities, like Marine Communication and Traffic Services and the Canadian Coast Guard, to properly identify a vessel’s name, speed, course, and bearing to help reduce collision potential and enhance overall harbour safety.

On a volunteer basis, 25 class B AIS units were installed on local fishing and passenger vessels in 2018, providing first-hand traffic data. This is an ongoing program.