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

All SOS Buoy locations MUST be Reviewed
Contact: [email protected] for info.

All SOS Buoys MUST meet Private-Aids-to-Navigation Standards

All Buoys when deployed MUST be reported to the CCG
Notices-to-Shipping (NOTSHIP).
Buoys are typically seasonal and Notices-to-Shipping must be cancelled when buoy removed for winter.

” mooring buoy (Orange and White)
permanently established in Latitude DD MM.mmmN, Longitude DDD MM.mmmW,
for the season marking the ”

The contact for issuing Notices to Shipping is:
CCG MCTS Centre, 1-800-265-0237 or (613) 925-0666, Ask for: Notice-to-Shipping
OR EMAIL MCTS at NotshipC&[email protected]

The NOTSHIP Number MUST be submitted to the SOS Buoy Database
for Tracking, Liability and Cancellation purposes.

Canadian Coast Guard – Local Notices to Shipping – (NOTSHIP)

FREE coordinate conversion tool from Recreational Standard: DD MM.mmm
to older style used by many: DD MM SS.s
Degree/Minute/Second Converter

(in case of collision) Liability is reduced by:
Obtaining placement Review for the buoy location well in advance of deployment,
Meeting Private Aid to Navigation standards,
Having Yellow Reflective and/or solar powered lighting – FL Y 4s
Issuing/Correcting/Canceling Notices to Shipping (NOTSHIP) upon deployment, status change and removal,
Checking regularly and Maintaining Buoys.