Buoy Requirements & Responsibilities

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

(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.

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

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

Working with CCG (Canada Coast Guard)

Reporting to CCG

All deployed buoys must be reported to update the NOTSHIP (Notices to Shipping).

Buoys are typically seasonal and Notices-to-Shipping must be cancelled when buoy removed for winter.

Wording of NOTSHIP message to CCG

” mooring buoy (Orange and White) permanently established in Latitude DD MM.mmmN, Longitude DDD MM.mmmW, for the season marking the ” {followed by the name of the dive site}

The contact for issuing Notices to Shipping is the CCG MCTS Centre
Marine Communications and Traffic Services

(613) 925-0666
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