Section 3 - Pre-Designation of Places of Refuge

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The most suitable place of refuge can only be determined after the details of the specific incident are known and thoroughly considered. To pre-designate places of refuge may be of limited value, as the limitations, operational considerations, hazards and associated risks will vary greatly with each incident. Experience in Canada has shown that because no two incidents, and the circumstance surrounding the incident, are very similar, the value of pre-planning lies primarily in ensuring information will be readily available (i.e., nautical charts and publications, port information, environmental and sensitivity data), along with the relevant specialists.

There are no pre-designation of places of refuge in the Pacific Region.

Operational Procedures

  1. Generally, for any deficiencies report, or a place of refuge request, the ship, ship’s agent or ship’s owner will contact the Regional Marine Information Centre (RMIC), a.k.a. MCTS, VTS by various means, e.g. telephone, fax, email.
  2. RMIC will disseminate the information to various concerned departments or organizations, including Transport Canada.
  3. During office hours (0800 – 1600 hours), RMIC will contact Transport Canada Marine Reception Desk at 1 - (604) 666 – 5300, and the Reception Desk will contact a Marine Safety Inspector (MSI) in accordance with an internal roster.
  4. Outside office hours, RMIC will contact Transport Canada standby duty MSI directly.
  5. Depending on the issue involved, the MSI will deal with the issue as per the “Guidance on Safety Measures for Inbound/Outbound Deficient Vessels”.
  6. For a ship in need of assistance and requests a place of refuge, the MSI will immediately inform the Manager of Compliance and Enforcement (TME).
  7. The Manager of Compliance and Enforcement will assemble the Risk Assessment Team and also advise Transport Canada – Regional Director Marine of the situation.
  8. Depending on the nature of the incident, Transport Canada Marine and Canadian Coast Guard will inform or consult any concerned parties or stakeholders.
  9. The Risk Assessment Team will follow Transport Canada’s National Places of Refuge Contingency Plan and the above reference documents including the use of the attached Checklist and Contact List when making the decision.
  10. The decision will be made jointly by Transport Canada – Regional Director Marine and Canadian Coast Guard – Director of Maritime Services.
  11. After the incident is over, a de-brief will take place to improve future planning.

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