Safe boating reminders during the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks
With the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks starting this weekend, the port authority is reminding recreational boaters to be prepared and stay safe on the water as the harbour will be busier than usual.
Here’s what recreational boaters need to know:
- Be prepared: Check current conditions, including weather, tide, currents and water levels.
- Boating at night is different: It’s more difficult to see your surroundings in the dark. Plan ahead and ensure all required safety gear is on board and in working order. Life jackets, radios, and navigation lights are required.
- Be a responsible boater: Keep wake and wash to a minimum to avoid damage to sensitive habitat, property or other vessels. Be aware of the laws about the use of intoxicants; it is prohibited to operate a boat while impaired.
- Pay attention to your surroundings: Be aware of hazards like tides, currents, shallows and other recreational boats, watercraft, and commercial ships. Canoes, kayaks, and other non-powered vessels should stay close to shore to avoid interfering with the navigation of larger boats and ships.
- Stay out of the fireworks exclusion zone: Always follow the directions of regulatory and response vessels in and around the exclusion zone during the fireworks event. Keep clear of the 1,200 ft. radius buoyed fireworks exclusion zone. Do not touch the safety buoys or allow your vessel to touch them. When anchoring, stay far enough back from the exclusion zone and far enough away from other vessels to account for your boat’s movement when the tide changes.
- Monitor appropriate radio channels: Monitor VHF channel 16. Know your location and in case of an emergency, call the Canadian Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 or by dialing *16 on your cell.
- Make sure you are seen: Use proper navigation lights. When at anchor during the fireworks, your anchor lights must be on and running lights must be off. Remember to turn your running lights back on before leaving.
- Report incidents: If you see anyone violating the safe boating practices, contact the Port Operations Centre at 604.665.9086.
The port authority is responsible for maintaining the safe and efficient movement of marine traffic within the Port of Vancouver. In partnership with other agencies, the port authority regularly assists to keep shipping lanes clear of small vessel traffic. As part of its ongoing work to ensure marine safety in the harbour, the port authority is implementing new temporary restrictions during the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks. During the hours of 9:00 p.m. until 11:59 p.m. on July 23, July 27 and July 30, all deep-sea commercial ships and tugs engaged in towing operations will not be permitted to transit between the Lion’s Gate and Ironworkers Memorial bridges.
All vessels operating within Canada’s waterways are governed by the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and are subject to collision regulations. In addition, Canada’s Criminal Code also applies to boating. These laws ensure the waterways remain safe for all users.
For more information, visit portvancouver.com/safeboating to review the safe boating guides for the Burrard Inlet and Fraser River.
- Safe boating at fireworks [Infographic]
- Burrard Inlet Safe Boating Guide [PDF]
- Fraser River Safe Boating Guide [PDF]
- For up-to-date information on safety tips and requirements for pleasure crafts, see Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety
- Port Information Guide [PDF] for localized practices and procedures at the Port of Vancouver