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Near-miss incident in Burrard Inlet highlights need for safe boating awareness

July 29, 2016

Vancouver, B.C.: A recent near-miss incident captured on video between a recreational boat and large commercial vessel in the Burrard Inlet is highlighting the need for safe boating awareness. With increased recreational boating activity expected over the long weekend, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority reminds boaters to keep clear of port operations and commercial activity areas. This includes activities in waterways around English Bay, First Narrows, Second Narrows and the Vancouver inner harbour.

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.

In partnership with other agencies, the port authority maintains safety in local waters by ensuring shipping lanes are clear of small vessel traffic. For safe navigation of all vessels, recreational boaters must exercise caution in high activity areas at all times and must not obstruct shipping lanes or commercial anchorages. In addition, recreational boaters in Coal Harbour are reminded to keep clear of Aircraft Operation Zones and watch for aircraft taking off or landing in the water.

“Never assume that a larger vessel can see you,” says Chris Wellstood, Harbour Master and Director of Marine Operations and Security at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “Preparation and knowledge of safe boating practices and understanding your responsibilities on the water are key to ensuring your outing is enjoyable and safe.”

For safety reasons, many recreational activities are prohibited in Vancouver’s inner harbour. This includes kayaking, rowing and other watersports. Sailing, or otherwise proceeding without mechanical power in the area, is also prohibited.

Help keep our waterways safe for yourself and others by ensuring you know the “rules of the road” before heading out on the water. For more information, visit to review the safe boating guide for the Burrard Inlet.

Further information

About the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for the stewardship of the federal port lands in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. It is accountable to the federal minister of transport and operates pursuant to the Canada Marine Act. The port authority manages the Port of Vancouver, which is Canada’s largest port and the third largest tonnage port in North America, responsible for Canada’s trade with more than 170 world economies. Located in a naturally beautiful setting on Canada’s west coast, the Port of Vancouver is responsible for the efficient and reliable movement of goods and passengers, and integrates environmental, social and economic sustainability initiatives into all areas of port operations. Enabling the trade of approximately $200 billion in goods in 2015, the port sustains an estimated 100,000 supply-chain jobs, $6.1 billion in wages, and $9.7 billion in GDP across Canada.

Media contact

Emily Hamer
Manager, Strategic Communications
[email protected]

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