Prince Rupert Port Authority


Starting December 10th 2012, the Prince Rupert Port Authority assigned anchorages will reflect new number designations and some new anchorage positions that will be trialed over the next 12 months.

These changes reflect an Anchorage Review completed recently and the anticipated need for more anchorages as marine traffic increases in the Prince Rupert area. The Pacific Pilotage Authority, the BC Coastal Pilots and the Chamber of Shipping have all participated in the Anchorage Review and have agreed to trial the new anchorage positions over the next 12 months. Canadian Hydrographic Services Pacific has also been made aware of this trial and will be publishing a Notice to Mariners accordingly.

In due course and upon successful completion of this trial, the Prince Rupert Port Authority��s Practices and Procedures will be updated with the new anchorage positions and made available for public comment in accordance with the Marine Act. In the meantime, a table listing the new trial anchorage positions and chartlets illustrating the positions will be provided on our website here:

The chartlets are not intended for navigation purposes.

Highlights of the trial include:

  1. Increased overall number of anchorages available from 19 to a potential of 30 (see chartlets which illustrate the positions and numbers of the new anchorages)
  2. Elimination of old Anchorage A to accommodate Fairview expansion and provide more sea-room for the turning basin for container ships
  3. Shifting of the inner harbour anchorages and re-sizing inner anchorages to accommodate grain, log, and other smaller ships
  4. Re-numbering anchorages from 2 to 30 starting at Tuck Inlet and increasing seaward while reserving anchorage #1 for future consideration
  5. PRPA will be eliminated the old anchorages 2, 3 and 4 in Marcus Passage as they presented increased risk to fouling an underwater cable when dragging

Prince Rupert Harbour limits are shown on Canadian Chart 3957 and described in British Columbia Coast Sailing Directions (Vol. II). Porpoise Harbour and Ridley Island are included within the Prince Rupert Harbour limits.

Time Zone
GMT -8 hrs, Daylight saving in effect March to November.

Charts and Publications
The Port of Prince Rupert and the approaches are covered by Canadian Charts 3957, 3958, and 3955 and Admiralty Chart 2435. Further information is obtainable from PAC 205 Inner Passage - Queen Charlotte Sound to Chatham Sound, published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, or the Admiralty Pilot 26.

Entry is from the south between Digby and Kaien Islands. Navigation is round the clock with a depth not less than 35 m at the harbour entrance.
In Prince Rupert Harbour, vessels are to proceed at no more than 5 knots when passing within three cables (600 yards) of shore between Fairview Terminal and Ritchie Point. Additional reduction is required when passing docks and floats, particularly at Metlakatla and Digby Island Floats in Venn Passage and within Porpoise Harbour. Please see speed zone map

Prince Rupert Marine Communications and Vessel Traffic Services operate on VHF channels 11 and 71. Vessels should establish communications with "Prince Rupert Traffic" on Channel 11 when 50 nm west of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Vessels proceeding to Prince Rupert via Vancouver or Tofino Traffic Zones will be advised when to change frequencies to VHF channel 12. The owner of every deep sea vessel and, if requested by the Port Authority, the owner of every other vessel shall, where possible, give notice to the Port Authority of the current expected date and approximate time of arrival at the harbour. Vessels with explosives on board shall not enter, leave, or remain in the harbour, except with the prior permission of the Port Authority.

Every ship that is over 350 gross tons is subject to compulsory pilotage. The master, owner or agent of a ship that is to arrive in a compulsory pilotage area shall notify the Pacific Pilotage Authority of the estimated time of arrival, universal time co-ordinated (UTC), off Triple Island near Prince Rupert, at least 96 hrs prior to arrival, and shall confirm or correct the estimated time of arrival 12 hrs prior to arrival. Radio messages from ships requiring pilots shall be addressed to "Pilots Victoria" and sent via any Canadian Coast Guard radio station. Boarding station is located off Triple Island (54° 17' 6" N; 130° 52' 7 W) approx. 42 km from port. Vessels may be instructed to follow the pilot boat into sheltered waters near Lucy Island for boarding during heavy weather.

Prince Rupert Coast Guard Radio "VAJ" 2182KHz, 4125KHz and VHF channel 16. Vessels wishing to communicate with the Port Authority during office hours may call "Prince Rupert Duty Harbour Master" on VHF channel 16. After hours via Prince Rupert Marine Communications and Traffic Services, "Prince Rupert Traffic," on VHF channel 71.

Prince Rupert is a port of entry and as such has customs facilities. Canada Customs have introduced a system of selective boarding in Prince Rupert, clearances are now generally carried out by the ship's agents. Customs Officers do however conduct unscheduled spot checks.

Health and Medical
Masters are required to complete and furnish promptly at the first port of arrival in Canada, a Declaration of Health in the prescribed form. Advanced radio notification to a quarantine station applies only if a condition of health irregularity occurs onboard. Masters should acquaint themselves with section 12 of the Quarantine Regulations. Prince Rupert has a full service hospital, as well as medical service to larger metropolitan areas.

Physical Conditions
Prince Rupert Harbour is a deep ice-free inlet with easy access and can be entered at all times and at all seasons. The inner harbour entrance is 457m wide and 35-44m deep.

Tides and Currents
Tides are mixed, mainly semi-diurnal.

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

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. When these weather conditions are expected, all necessary precautions to guard against anchor dragging must be taken. Vessels at anchor must have engines at standby and a second anchor ready to let go in winds of 25 kt or more. Remaining in ballast is recommended.

Varies between 1013 and 1025.

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

All Anchorages inside Prince Rupert Harbour limits are allocated by the Harbour Master. See the top of this page for information about current anchorage positions.


Terminus of the Canadian National Railways transcontinental system and Transcontinental highway 16. Airport 3 km distant. Twice daily flights to Vancouver.

All major companies are represented. I.F.O. unavailable. Marine diesel oil is available in limited quantities and supplied by truck or barge. Masters should radio fuel requirements in advance of arrival, and advise the vessel's Agent.

Fresh Water
Available at Fairview, Ridley Terminals, Prince Rupert Grain, Westview Terminal, Ocean Dock and Atlin Dock. Charged per tonne, plus service charge for connect/disconnect. Available at all berths.

Garbage Removal
Garbage is removed on request and only after permission granted by Environment Canada. Garbage is placed in dumpsters and removed by a private contractor. At present there are no facilities to handle international garbage.

Minor repairs to all types of marine equipment and electronics. One shipyard catering to large fishing vessels with a 250t marine railway.

Hydraulic cranes up to 100 ton capacity, 200-foot reach. Floating crane 50 t capacity.

Arrangement should be made in advance, through the local agents. All types of provisions as well as deck and engine stores are available.

Private tugs, boatmen and linesmen are available for berthing assistance. No extra charge for tug's lines. Water taxi service.

Fire Fighting Tugs
Two of the four harbour tugs are equipped with fire monitors.

The employment of watchmen from shore is not compulsory, but the Port Authority Bylaws require that the gangway be manned at all times.

Directory of Phone Numbers for Prince Rupert


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