7.1 GENERAL

Prince Rupert Harbour is a deep, ice free inlet with easy access and can be entered at all times and in all seasons. The inner harbour entrance is 457 metres wide and at least 35 metres deep.

7.2 DEVELOPMENTS

Fairview Container Terminal
DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal expanded its capacity to 1.35 million TEUs through a project completed in Fall 2017. The next phase of Fairview Container Terminal expansion is expected to begin construction in Q3 2022, increasing terminal capacity to 1.8 million TEUs by Q4 2023.

Connector Corridor
PRPA is currently developing a 5.5km corridor which will house a 2-lane private haul and an additional two 12,000’ rail sidings. This corridor will provide connectivity from the south end of the Fairview Container Terminal to Ridley Island.

Prince Rupert LPG Export Terminal
Pembina is currently building an LPG Export Terminal on Watson Island in Porpoise Harbour. The first phase of the terminal construction is expected to be completed in Q1 2021, with a capacity of 25,000 bpd.

Vopak
Vopak Pacific Canada is currently working through the regulatory and permitting process to develop a bulk liquids terminal offering handling, storage and ship loading for commodities such as propane, methanol and diesel. Vopak is targeting a final investment decision at the end of 2020 followed by two years of construction. For more information please see
https://www.vopak.com/vopak-pacific-canada

For more information on these proposed developments and others, visit our website here52.

7.3 PORT LOCATION

The Prince Rupert Harbour limits are shown on Canadian Charts 3957 and 3958 and described in British Columbia Coast Sailing Directions PAC 205.53 Porpoise Harbour, Ridley Island, and Lelu Island are included within the Prince Rupert Harbour limits.

CHARTS AND PUBLICATIONS
The Port of Prince Rupert and the approaches are covered by Canadian Charts 3957, 3958, 3955, 3964 and Admiralty Chart 2435. Further information is available in PAC 205 Inner Passage – Queen Charlotte Sound to Chatham Sound,54 published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, or the Admiralty Sailing Directions NP 26, British Columbia Pilot.

ENTRANCE
The main commercial approach to Prince Rupert is via the Dixon Entrance, Brown Passage and Chatham Sound passing Lucy Island, Rachael Islands and the Kinahan Islands traveling SE towards Ridley Island and Lelu Island. The SW corner of the outer harbour is at 54°08’36” N 130°26’47” W and extends north to Digby Island and east towards Smith Island.

The main entrance to the inner harbour is from the south between Digby and Kaien Islands. Navigation is round the clock with a depth not less than 35 metres at the inner harbour entrance marked by Spire Ledge light and bell buoy “D47”. The inner harbour can also be entered from the Northwest through Venn Passage for smaller traffic only.

NO WAKE ZONES
Certain areas of the Prince Rupert Harbour have been designated as No Wake Zones. In Prince Rupert Harbour vessels are to minimize wake when passing within 600 yards of shore between Fairview Terminal and Ritchie Point. Minimized wakes are also required when passing docks, floats and seaplanes, specifically at the Digby Island floats and the Village of Metlakatla in Venn Passage and within Porpoise Harbour.

7.4 LOAD LINES

Load Line Regulations (SOR/2007-99)55 fall under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

7.5 MAXIMUM SIZE VESSELS

There is currently no restriction for maximum size vessels calling on Prince Rupert; however, inner harbour anchorages (numbers 2-7) are restricted to vessels 250 metres length overall (LOA) or less.

7.6 TIME ZONE

Prince Rupert is in the Pacific Time Zone and observes Daylight Savings Time from March until November. Specific dates and times of the Daylight Savings change can be found online here.56

Pacific Standard Time (PST) is GMT/UTC -8h and Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) is GMT/UTC – 7h during Daylight Savings.

7.7 LOCAL HOLIDAYS

The five national holidays in British Columbia are:
• New Year’s Day (January 1)
• Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)
• Canada Day (July 1)
• Labour Day (First Monday in September)
• Christmas Day (December 25)

The five provincial holidays in British Columbia are:
• Family Day (3rd Monday in February)
• Victoria Day (Monday before May 25)
• British Columbia Day (Monday after the 1st Sunday of August)
• Thanksgiving (second Monday in October)
• Remembrance Day (November 11)

7.8 WORKING HOURS

PRPA main office hours are from 0800 to 1630 Monday – Friday. The PSOC operates continuously 24/7 throughout the year.

7.9 TRAFFIC

The number of deep-sea vessels calling on Prince Rupert has continued to increase. In addition, passenger vessels including BC Ferries57 and Alaska State Ferries58 make regular scheduled calls to Prince Rupert. Coastal tug and barge operations, commercial fishing vessels, charter fishing vessels, and private pleasure craft are also numerous in the Prince Rupert area, especially during the summer season. For more up-to-date information on the commercial fisheries opening and established fishing zones in the Prince Rupert area, consult the Department of Fisheries and Oceans59 website.

For more traffic information in the Port of Prince Rupert, visit the website.60

7.10 CARGO

LOSS OF CARGO, GEAR OR GOODS OVERBOARD
Where any goods have been lost overboard from a vessel, the owner or person in charge of the vessel shall attempt to recover such goods. Where the recovery of such goods is interfering with navigation or if the goods constitute or may constitute contamination, PRPA may order the person in charge of the recovery to cease or alter his operation. Where lost goods are not recovered within 24 hours after their loss, the owner or person in charge of the vessel shall as soon as practicable, submit a statement to PRPA noting all of the following:
• the location where the goods were lost
• a description of the lost goods
• such other information regarding the lost goods as PRPA may request

If the owner or person in charge of the vessel fails to recover the lost goods within 24 hours after their loss, PRPA may have the lost goods recovered at the expense of the owner of the vessel and the owner shall pay PRPA the cost of the recovery upon demand.

7.11 CHARTS AND BOOKS

CHARTS
All vessels in Canadian waters must carry and use nautical charts and related publications. pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations,61 that are issued by, or on the Authority of, the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS).62 CHS paper charts meet the requirements of the chart carriage regulations; however digital charts only meet the requirements of the regulations under certain circumstances. CHS Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) meet the requirements provided they are used with an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). CHS raster charts meet the requirements only if paper charts are carried and used as a backup.

Most paper charts can be purchased locally in Prince Rupert and some are available to download online.

CHS Charts63
3002 Queen Charlotte Sound to Dixon Entrance
3955 Plans – Prince Rupert Harbour, Porpoise Harbour, Ridley Island and Approaches
3956 Malacca Passage to Bell Passage
3957 Approaches to Prince Rupert Harbour
3958 Prince Rupert Harbour
3964 Tuck Inlet

BOOKS
Canadian Tide and Current Tables64
Chart 1, 2012: Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms65
Sailing Directions, PAC205 Inner Passage – Queen Charlotte Sound to Chatham Sound66
Canadian Aids to Navigation System67
List of Lights, Buoys and Fog Signals68
Notices to Mariners – Current Monthly Editions69
Notices to Mariners – Annual Edition70
Radio Aids Marine Navigation (RAMN) 201571

7.12 SHIPPING ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE PORT AREA

NAVIGATIONAL WARNINGS (NAVWARNS)
The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) issues Navigational Warnings (NAVWARNs) to inform mariners about hazards to navigation and to share other important information. Verbal NAVWARN alerts are broadcast by radio by MCTS and written NAVWARN alerts72 are issued when the hazard location is beyond broadcast range or when the information remains in effect for an extended period of time. A summary of written NAVWARNs still in effect are available online here.73

NOTICES TO MARINERS
The Notices to Mariners (NOTMAR)74, published jointly by CCG and CHS, provides necessary information to update all charts and nautical publications (such as Sailing Directions, Light of Lights, Annual Edition of Notices to Mariners, and Radio Aids to Marine Navigation). Also issued is information pertaining to regulations and procedures governing vessels entry to and transit of Canadian waters.

7.13 PILOT STATIONS

The Pilot Station is located off Triple Island (54° 19.00’ N; 130° 53.10’ W) approximately 22 nautical miles from the port. See chapter 11.3 for pilotage details.

7.14 PORT INFRASTRUCTURE

ANCHORAGE AREAS

Area & Chart # Anchorage # Latitude Longitude Depth (metres) Max LOA (metres) Use Swing Radius (metres) Bottom Type
1 Not allocated
Inner Harbour Chart 3964/3958 2 54° 21.11’N 130° 16.54’W 56 225 Logs, Bulk, CFIA inspections 550 MR
3 54° 20.43′ N 130° 17.28′ W 48 225 Logs, Bulk, Limited DG, CFIA inspections 550 MRSh
4 54° 19.72′ N 130° 18.88′ W 39 225 Bulk, Limited DG, CFIA inspections 550 MR
5 54° 19.39′ N 130° 19.73′ W 42 225 Bulk, CFIA inspections 550 M
6 54° 19.04′ N 130° 20.55′ W 37 250 Bulk, CFIA inspections 600 M
7 54° 18.80′ N 130° 21.49′ W 55 250 Bulk, CFIA inspections 600 MRSh
Ridley Island Chart
3956/3958
8 54° 11.83′ N 130° 22.10′ W 38 270 Bulk, CFIA inspections, Fumigation 650 M
9 54° 09.22′ N 130° 22.37′ W 66 350 Bulk, LPG, LNG, DG, AGM 725 M
10 54° 07.87′ N 130° 21.15′ W 60 400 Bulk, LPG, LNG, DG, AGM 870 M
Digby Island Chart 3957 11 54° 14.70′ N 130° 26.70′ W 53 270 Emergency use only 600 RM
12 54° 15.12′ N 130° 27.77′ W 54 270 Emergency use only 600 RM
13 54° 15.68′ N 130° 28.77′ W 43 270 Emergency use only 600 MSh
14 54° 16.40′ N 130° 29.77′ W 30 270 Emergency use only 600 RSh
Rachel Islands Chart 3956 15 54° 11.75′ N 130° 31.00′ W 41 270 Long Term Bulk 650 MR
16 54° 12.42′ N 130° 31.25′ W 39 270 Long Term Bulk 650 M
17 54° 12.68′ N 130° 32.38′ W 42 270 Long Term Bulk 650 SM
Lucy Islands Chart 3957 18 54° 16.60′ N 130° 35.72′ W 60 325 Long Term Bulk 700 RG
19 54° 15.98′ N 130° 36.52′ W 65 325 Long Term Bulk 700 RG
20 54° 15.43′ N 130° 37.60′ W 52 325 Bulk, AGM re-inspect 700 RG
21 54° 15.39′ N 1130° 38.95′ W 54 325 Bulk, AGM re-inspect 700 SMR
22 54° 16.11′ N 130° 39.10′ W 42 325 Long Term Bulk 700 R
23 54° 16.80′ N 130° 38.72′ W 30 325 Long Term Bulk 700 SR
Stephens Island Chart 3956 24 54° 07.35′ N 130° 33.15′ W 60 350 Long Term Bulk, LPG, LNG, DG, 725 SM
25 54° 05.76′ N 130° 33.92′ W 53 325 Long Term Bulk, LPG, LNG, DG, 700 MS
26 54° 06.36′ N 130° 34.58′ W 50 270 Long Term Bulk 600 S
27 54° 06.76′ N 130° 35.53′ W 38 325 Long Term Bulk 650 S
28 54° 07.25′ N 130° 36.30′ W 54 270 Long Term Bulk 600 SM
29 54° 07.90′ N 130° 36.73′ W 66 350 Long Term Bulk 675 M
30 54° 08.80′ N 130° 37.50′ W 80 350 Bulk, LPG, LNG, DG 675 M
31 54° 09.60′ N 130° 38.40′ W 72 350 Bulk, LPG, LNG, DG 675 M

ANCHORING PROCEDURES

Every vessel of 50 metres or more in length must obtain permission from PRPA prior to anchoring in the Prince Rupert Harbour area and its approaches. No vessel shall anchor in such a place or position as to prevent free and unobstructed passage for all vessels to and from the harbour and to and from any wharf in the harbour. No vessel shall anchor in any designated seaplane operating area.

Anchorages will be assigned at least 24 hours prior to the arrival of a vessel providing the 96-hour Notice of Arrival (NOA) has been received. It is understood that some anchorage requests may require immediate assistance due to emergencies, berth delays etc., and this will be considered on a case by case basis.

PRPA Marine Operations may be contacted at any time after office hours through the PSOC by telephone +1 (250) 627-2522 or VHF 68. All anchorage allocations for the next 24 hours are published online on the Shipping Schedule.75 All anchorage assignments are also held by the PSOC and may be checked any time by contacting the PSOC via telephone (+1 (250) 627-2522) or email (psoc@rupertport.com) or radio (VHF 68).

When making an anchorage request, normally the 96-hour NOA is completed and submitted by the local Agent on behalf of the vessel. In the case of urgent anchorage requirements, the following minimum information must be given to PRPA Marine Operations for the request to be considered:

  • Vessel Name
  • IMO Number
  • Local Agent Name
  • Gross Registered Tonnage
  • Summer Draught
  • Length Overall (LOA)
  • Cargo Type and Quantity
  • Estimated Time of Berthing
  • Estimated Time of Departure
  • List any machinery or navigational equipment defects

ANCHORAGE SAFETY

Although inner harbour anchorages are somewhat protected, all anchorages in the Port of Prince Rupert are at all times exposed to weather and sea conditions which can, particularly in the fall and winter months, change rapidly and at short notice.

For these reasons, while at anchor in the Port of Prince Rupert every vessel, in addition to maintaining a safe anchor watch in accordance with STCW.7 Circ. 14 – Guidance for Masters on Keeping a Safe Anchor Watch, shall year-round:

    • Use a minimum of 10 shackles at the waterline (more anchor cable can be used at Master’s discretion) and report cable length to PSOC on VHF 68 upon setting anchor
    •  Arrive in and maintain heavy ballast and required trim to ensure the ship’s propeller and rudder are below the water line until a confirmed terminal berthing time has been arranged at which time deballasting can commence
    • Have main propulsion engine(s) on standby such that they are available for immediate use
    • Have AIS navigation status set to “under way using engine(s)” to facilitate a faster data refresh
    • Maintain a continuous and competent bridge watch in accordance with STCW watch-keeping standards
    • Keep a listening watch on VHF 16, VHF 68 (PSOC) and VHF 71(MCTS)
    • Be prepared to take immediate action should weather conditions deteriorate
    • Be prepared to take immediate action to mitigate the risk of a dragging anchor
    • Have a second anchor ready for letting go if wind speed at the vessel exceeds 20 knots

Prior to significant wind events, vessels may be ordered out of specific anchorages or ordered out of the Port to weather a storm at sea.

Should a commercial vessel wishing to anchor in Prince Rupert Harbour not be capable of adhering to these directives, the Master or Agent shall bring this to the attention of PRPA Marine Operations a minimum of 24 hours prior to the vessel’s scheduled arrival time at Triple Island.

ASSIGNMENT OF ANCHORAGES

Vessels will normally occupy an anchorage while waiting for a berth, cargo, or repairs. Anchorages shown in the previous table are assigned on a first come first serve basis (based on confirmed ETA of vessel at Triple Island Pilot Station). Prince Rupert anchorage sizes have been designed based on the use of 10 shackles. Upon setting anchor in Prince Rupert vessels shall contact PSOC via VHF 68 and report amount of cable out. Unless specifically approved by PRPA Marine Operations the size of vessel using an anchorage may not exceed the specified anchorage size.

At the discretion of PRPA, vessels waiting for other ports, or not loading or discharging passengers or cargo at the Port of Prince Rupert may be assigned anchorages subject to availability. Any vessel occupying an anchorage under these circumstances may be ordered to move to allow a vessel, which will embark or disembark passengers, or load or discharge cargo in Prince Rupert, to anchor in Prince Rupert Harbour.

Vessels remaining at anchor after their scheduled berthing time or after their cargo is available, that decline to occupy the designated berth for reasons of contract or desire of the owners or charterers of the vessel, may be required to vacate the anchorage at the sole discretion of PRPA.

In an emergency, or for other reasons approved by PRPA, Marine Operations may create a special anchorage or offset an existing anchorage to allow a vessel to anchor. In such cases, safety will be the deciding factor.

PRPA may charge a fee for long-term use of an anchorage or for vessels not calling on the Port of Prince Rupert.

Anchorages may be assigned or reassigned by PRPA for any reason at its discretion.

SPECIAL ANCHORAGES

Anchorages 2 and 3 are anchorages where log loading has preference at PRPA discretion. If, at the time of entry of a vessel which will load logs, all anchorages are occupied, the first vessel to occupy one of these anchorages may be displaced to accommodate the vessel loading logs.

Anchorage 7, given its proximity to the turning basin used by container ships arriving at Fairview Terminal, will be used sparingly to afford these vessels ample room to manoeuver.

Anchorage 8 is the Port’s designated fumigation anchorage.

Anchorages 9 and 10 can be used for Agricultural inspections for Asian Gypsy Moth should this be required by CFIA. Inspection for Asian Gypsy Moth takes precedence over all other uses for these anchorages.

Anchorage 10 may be used for vessels up to 400 metres LOA.

LPG CARRIERS, LNG CARRIERS AND OIL TANKERS

Anchorages 9, 10, 24, 25, 30, and 31 may be used for LPG, LNG and Tanker vessels.

ANCHORAGE WARNINGS AND WATCHKEEPING CONSIDERATIONS

Prince Rupert Traffic will broadcast an anchorage warning broadcast on VHF 71 for all vessels at anchor in the Port of Prince Rupert under the following circumstances:

  • When gale (or higher) warnings are forecasted for local waters
  •  This warning will remind vessels of their continuous requirement to have engines at immediate standby and a second anchor ready for letting go if winds exceed 20 knots at the vessel.

WEATHER LIMITS AT ANCHOR

Weather limits at anchor are at the discretion of the vessel’s Master, however, prior to significant wind events vessels may be ordered out of specific anchorages or ordered out of the Port to weather a storm at sea.

7.15 PORT ACCOMMODATION AND BERTHS

Details of Terminals and berths can be found in the Port Sections Guide.

7.16 WEATHER AND TIDAL INFORMATION

Prince Rupert Harbour can be subject to extreme gusts of wind from the mountain slopes during SE gales, which are prevalent during the autumn and winter months.

Weather limits for port operations are listed in the specific terminal Port Sections Guide.

DENSITY

Varies between 1013 and 1025 kg·m−3.

ICE

Prince Rupert is a totally ice free harbour all year round.

TIDES
Tides are mixed, mainly semi-diurnal. Predicted tide data can be found at the Fisheries and Oceans Canada76 website.

Live tide data can be found on the PRPA website77.

Mean Tide Spring Tide
Range 4.9 m 16.07 ft. 7.7 m 25.3 ft.
HHW 6.1 m 20.0 ft. 7.5 m 24.6 ft.
LLW 1.2 m 3.9 ft. -0.2 m -0.66 ft..

Footnotes

52 https://www.rupertport.com/future-growth/
53 http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/21557/publication.html
54 http://www.charts.gc.ca/documents/charts-cartes/pacific-index.pdf
55 http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2007-99/page-1.html
56 http://www.timetemperature.com/tzca/british_columbia_time_zone.shtml
57 http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/inside/
58 http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/routes.shtml
59 http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/maps-cartes/index-eng.html
60 http://www.rupertport.com/shipping/performance
61 http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-95-149/
62 http://www.charts.gc.ca/charts-cartes/index-eng.asp
63 http://www.charts.gc.ca/index-eng.asp
64 http://www.charts.gc.ca/publications/tables-eng.asp
65 http://www.charts.gc.ca/publications/chart1-carte1/index-eng.asp
66 http://www.charts.gc.ca/publications/sailingdirections-instructionsnautiques-eng.asp
67 http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/aids/Canadian-Aids-To-Navigation-2011
68 https://www.notmar.gc.ca/list-livre-en.php
69 https://www.notmar.gc.ca/monthly-mensuel-en.php
70 https://www.notmar.gc.ca/annual-annuel-en.php
71 http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/Marine-Communications/RAMN-2015/Pacific-Table-of-Contents
72 http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/Marine-Communications/Home#NOTSHIP *****update for NAVWARNs
73 http://www.vtos.pac.dfo-mpomarinfo.gc.ca/notship/ntssumm.htme-nav/index-eng.php
74 https://www.notmar.gc.ca/index-en.php
75 https://pems.rupertport.com/public/dashb.ashx?db=caprr.dailyshipping
76 http://www.tides.gc.ca/eng/station?type=0&date=2013%2F06%2F23&sid=9354&tz=PDT&pres=1
77 http://www.rupertport.com/operations/harbour