News

Cape Palmerston earns her stripes

The Coast Guard vessel Cape Palmerston was not greeted with open arms as the local boating community viewed it as a downgrade from the cutter Point Race. The Palmerston’s crew, however, is happy with its performance. - Mirror file
The Coast Guard vessel Cape Palmerston was not greeted with open arms as the local boating community viewed it as a downgrade from the cutter Point Race. The Palmerston’s crew, however, is happy with its performance.
— image credit: Mirror file

After six months of service, the controversial Campbell River Coast Guard vessel the Cape Palmerston has proved herself a worthy lifeboat.

“Speaking from the crew’s perspective, it’s just fine,” said Phillip Hawkins, Officer in Charge at the Campbell River Coast guard Station.

“It has performed as well here as it has at the other nine stations (where the same type of boat is in use) on this coast.”

The 47-foot Cape Palmerston replaced the 70-foot Point Race on July 1, but the decision faced criticism from Coast Guard supporters, who said the new vessel would have fewer capabilities, which would result in a reduction of services.

The Cape Palmerston is faster and self-righting, a feature typically reserved for lifeboats working in open waters. The smaller boat has a lesser range and reduced towing capabilities.

However, Hawkins said, it has so far been up to the task.

“There hasn’t been anything it hasn’t been able to do that it’s been asked to do,” he said.

The Campbell River Coast Guard responded to 116 calls in 2011, which down about 15 per cent from last year. That drop in calls is typical all along the coast, Hawkins said.

“Incident numbers have been declining steadily over the past five years,” he said. Hawkins credited better boater awareness, better equipment and the increasing use of GPS in keeping the calls down. In addition, he cited fewer numbers of boaters.

“There are less people on the water, with economics and the price of fuel,” he said. According to Hawkins, the region is seeing fewer large yachts coming through, and fewer people are on on the water in small runabouts.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

United wins first Div. 1 VISL game
 
Is CUPE running your city hall?
 
Donor hits 100 units of blood
Tseshaht First Nation plans closure of resource road to Nahmint
 
Generals hard work leads to 10-3 victory
 
Losses force Islanders to regroup

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.