LETTER: Captain says crew not allowed off ship

A letter from a ship captain details a discouraging moment at port in Kitimat.

Dear Sir,

Shame on those responsible

I was recently aboard the ship Copenhagen after it departed Kitimat on its way back to Europe and was angered and embarrassed as the Captain confided in me the treatment that he and his crew were subjected to at the hands of security while delivering the new cranes to Rio Tinto Alcan last month.

After spending 34 days at sea sailing from Europe to Kitimat upon arrival instead of being welcomed they were abused by being refused clearance to spend a few precious hours ashore visiting shops and the community.

The Captain described a policy so restrictive that he and the crew were forced to remain aboard the ship because of the overwhelming documentation requiring extraneous amounts of paperwork in what the Captain believed was a roadblock purposely put in place to discourage shore leave.

It should be noted that the ship, its crew and cargo were already cleared by Canada Customs and Immigration for entry into Canada.

Perhaps local business should throw their weight in before Kitimat becomes known as   ‘a not friendly place to go ashore’.

Even if you have a month salary in new crisp US dollars in your pocket and a little precious time to search out souvenirs, games, magazines, DVDs, clothes, work gear, the message is being sent,  you are not welcome in the community.

We all understand the need for security, but when small minded individuals go rogue it becomes an abuse of human rights not security.

We are at MARSEC level 1. Folks encourage don’t discourage the seamen to go ashore, it’s proven each one will leave $100+ in the community.


Captain E.J. Goudy

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