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Work at B.C.'s remote lighthouses — coast guard now hiring

Experience working in isolation is helpful, states the job posting.

The Canadian Coast Guard is looking for people who want to work in remote areas of B.C. as assistant lightkeepers. 

Instead of one position, a pool of ‘qualified candidates’ is being put together to staff positions in various locations. 

In order to do the job, people will need to depart from Victoria, Port Hardy, Tofino, Bella Bella or Prince Rupert. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31, 2023. 

“As the Assistant Lightkeeper you will be responsible for keeping watch at the station to ensure mariners are safe as they transit Canada’s beautiful coastal regions,” states the posting.

Kiri Westnedge, a communications advisor with the Canadian Coast Guard, says there are 58 lightstations in B.C., 27 of which are staffed.

"The position of lightkeeper involves being comfortable working in remote areas with few people, travel by boat or helicopter, and living on the edge of the ocean. It is a very unique job but it is not a job for everyone,” says Westnedge.

Those who are successful in applying will act as "relief," she adds. 

"Relief lightkeepers fill in for our resident lightkeepers so that they can take time off for purposes like vacation, training and medical appointments,” she tells Glacier Media.

The lightstations ensure safe passage of mariners in the most “beautiful, remote and rugged locations” on B.C.’s breathtaking coastline, the posting says. 

Duties include handiwork, machine operation, maintenance and VHF (very high frequency) radio communication in remote marine environments, plus:

  • reporting local weather observations to MCTS (Marine Communications and Traffic Services);
  • relaying radio messages;
  • grounds maintenance of station;
  • dipping diesel fuel tanks from atop a ladder;
  • helping to refuel domestic diesel tanks;
  • dipping cisterns of rainwater collection;
  • scraping and painting buildings, decks and walkways;
  • testing the fire pump and hoses, and checking fire extinguisher.

Requirements for the job include maintenance experience with power tools, grounds work and knowledge of Microsoft Office. 

"Experience working in isolated or semi-isolate locations” is also helpful.

During the job, the individual must be prepared to travel by helicopter or boat, work 24/7 shifts in all-weather conditions and possess a valid restricted operators certificate (Maritime) or higher certificate. They must also have health Canada medical clearance and reliability status security clearance. 

Assistant lightkeepers earn $45,241 to $60,707 per year. 

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