Prince Rupert Port Creates Unique Crew R&R Opportunity
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) in Canada came up with one of the more creative ways to both show its gratitude to seafarers while also providing crew members some much needed time to relax.
“The Prince Rupert Port Authority is grateful to provide some relief to the crews operating the vessels visiting our port. While the pandemic has impacted all our lives, seafarers are facing daily demands that go far beyond the normal call of duty,” said Shaun Steveson, President and CEO of Prince Rupert Port Authority. “It is important to consider the plight of these essential workers, who are critical to our economy and global supply chain, and do what we can to support them.”
The local authorities were intent on coming up with a way for the seafarers to leave the confines of their ship while also complying with the regulations established by Canada’s federal authorities. Transport Canada has implemented regulations for seafarers on board foreign vessels, limiting shore leave to four hours for essential purposes only.
The solution developed by the PRPA was to create a secured space outside Northland Terminal, where PRPA staff set up tents, a grill, food, and other supplies for seafarers to use. Crew members can come ashore from their ships anchored in Prince Rupert Harbor while maintaining social distances and meeting the isolation requirements.
According to the port authority, so far more than 30 seafarers have taken part in the shore break program, coming ashore to relax, eat and even toss around a ball. They are also able to access WiFi to connect with their families and loved ones before being tendered back to their vessel. For many of these mariners, it was their first time on dry land in several months.
“The efforts of the Prince Rupert Port Authority to provide short opportunities for seafarers to have a break off their ships while adhering to public health regulations is important and appreciated,” said Robert Lewis-Manning, Chamber of Shipping President. “Throughout the pandemic, seafarers have played a vital role in supporting trade for Canada, but were unable to return to their homes and communities because of global restrictions on travel.”