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Stay safe on the Fraser; port authority launches new safe boating guide for Fraser River

May 17, 2017

2017 National Safe Boating Awareness Week May 20 to 26

May 20 to 26 marks North American Safe Boating Awareness week and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is reminding boaters to stay safe this boating season and to keep clear of port operations and commercial activity areas. This includes activities in waterways around English Bay, First Narrows, Second Narrows, the Vancouver inner harbour, and the Fraser River.

As part of its safe boating awareness campaign, the port authority is offering a safe boating guide for recreational boaters navigating the Fraser River. The guide is similar to the safe boating guide released last year for the Burrard Inlet, but has a few key reminders that are unique to the Fraser River waters, including:

  • Tow operations: take extreme caution when passing, especially in narrow channels. Keep wake to a minimum and never cross between a tugboat and its tow.
  • Log booms: watch for log booms along the riverbank – they are not marked, low in the water and difficult to see in low light.
  • Seaplane operations – Middle Arm: keep clear of aircraft landing and take-off area.

“Promoting safety on the water is something we take very seriously, which is why we created the new Fraser River safe boating guide, which highlights precautions that are unique to the river waters,” says Chris Wellstood, Harbour Master and Director of Marine Operations and Security at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “It’s important to know that a larger vessel cannot deviate from its course or come to a full stop in a short distance. Knowledge of safe boating practices and understanding your responsibilities on the water are key to ensuring your outing is enjoyable and safe.”

North American Safe Boating Awareness Week (SBAW) takes place across Canada from May 20 to May 26, 2017. The purpose of Safe Boating Awareness Week is to promote safe boating practices to the estimated 16 million recreational boaters in Canada who head out in canoes and kayaks, sailboards and sailboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft and powerboats each season.

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.

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 and Fraser River.

Further information

About the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

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 of Vancouver is Canada’s largest, and the third largest in North America by tonnes of cargo, facilitating trade between Canada and more than 170 world economies. Located in a naturally beautiful setting on Canada’s west coast, the port authority and port terminals and tenants are responsible for the efficient and reliable movement of goods and passengers, integrating environmental, social and economic sustainability initiatives into all areas of port operations. Enabling the trade of approximately $200 billion in goods, port activities sustain an estimated 100,000 supply-chain jobs, $6.1 billion in wages, and $9.7 billion in GDP across Canada.

Media contact

Danielle Jang
Media Relations Advisor
[email protected]

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