Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 22, 2014 - 11:48 am

Stay clear of sealift unloading areas: Nunavut government

“Heavy equipment operators may not be able to see people or vehicles in or near those areas"

SARAH ROGERS
Iqaluit’s sealift beach buzzes with activity at high tide Aug. 16, as forklifts unload sealift cargo. The GN is asking residents to stay clear of unloading areas to avoid accidents with heavy machinery. (PHOTO BY PETER VARGA)
Iqaluit’s sealift beach buzzes with activity at high tide Aug. 16, as forklifts unload sealift cargo. The GN is asking residents to stay clear of unloading areas to avoid accidents with heavy machinery. (PHOTO BY PETER VARGA)

The Government of Nunavut’s Department of Community and Government Services is reminding Nunavummiut to stay clear of vessel landing sites during sealift season.

In an Aug. 20 release, the department warns pedestrians and drivers to avoid unloading areas — particularly heavy machinery — during the sealift season, which typically runs between July and October.

“Vessel landing and loading sites on beaches are high-traffic areas where heavy machinery is in use,” said the release. “Heavy equipment operators may not be able to see people or vehicles in or near those areas.”

The department asks Nunavummiut not to walk or park on docks or beaches where vessels are unloading, which should be marked with signage by sealift operators.

The CGS notice also asks the public to keep children from climbing or playing on sea crates in those areas.

The notice comes at the request of sealift operators in the region, who have long called for better infrastructure on the Iqaluit waterfront and in other communities to make it safer and more efficient to offload supplies.

“It’s important not to drive vehicles all the way down to the beach where our guys are working,” NEAS’s chief executive officer Suzanne Paquin told Nunatsiaq News last month.

“We don’t always see them and we don’t want an accident to happen.”

The notice does not appear to be linked to any recent incidents though. The RCMP said this week that it has not had reports of accidents or injuries at any sealift landing sites in Nunavut this summer.

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