Buoy Requirements

SOS encourages our Chapters and Affiliates to deploy buoys meeting the requirements of Private Aids to Navigation to ensure:

  • No anchor damage to the underwater heritage sites
  • Improved access for offshore and on-shore sites by boat
  • Easier to locate - (saves drift diving on to site)
  • Safer ascents and descents for divers
  • Public and diver awareness of underwater heritage sites
  • Boaters learn where higher traffic dive sites are located
  • People learn that our Heritage is worth protecting and that sites are monitored

SOS makes buoys available meeting Canadian Private Aids to Navigation rules and regulations for size, shape, colour and labeling. The Chapter or Affiliate member are required do the following:

  • Complete the SOS Buoy Request form for each site
  • Work with SOS to get the buoy location reviewed
  • Supply and install suitable buoy anchoring system for traffic, boat sizes and water conditions expected
  • Install chain (min. 3/8"), rope (min (3/4"), and additional floats meeting SOS requirementsv
  • Issue and Cancel CCG Notices to Shipping (NOTSHIP) seasonally and updated as damaged, missing or light extinguished
    - issue NOTSHIP 1 hour prior to deployment of buoy(s)
    - cancel NOTSHIP within 4 hours of removal of buoy(s)
  • Notify SOS (via email) of buoy status changes, monthly checks and NOTSHIP assigned numbers
  • Maintain labeling of the SOS buoy to meet SOS and CCG requirements
    - SOS logo with Address, Phone Number, Website, Affiliate logo
    - The words "Heritage Site"
    - 2" high "PRIV" 2 sides,
    - 2"" x 8" 3M 3811 Yellow Reflective tape horizontally on 4 sides
  • Maintain anchoring system and buoy as required

SOS keeps the status of buoys in an online database for all to view.
This allows for:

  • Charter operators and boaters can check if the buoy is installed before heading out
  • Public can provide information about missing or damaged buoys
  • Reference list of NOTSHIP numbers for fall cancellation
  • Log of buoy preventative maintenance and monitoring