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A prototype four-season

Buoy tending on the St. Lawrence:
Integrating innovative technologies

The first buoys started appearing on the St. Lawrence River at the turn of the 18th century. At that time, the number of ships using this trade corridor was increasing steadily, and, as evidenced by the high rate of shipwrecks, the river showed itself to be a significant challenge to navigation.

In 1962, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) was born. One of its mandates was and has been to ensure safe conditions for maritime traffic, while providing effective aids to navigation. Although CCG’s mandate has remained the same since its creation, the technologies used to secure the safety of ships have evolved a great deal.

Reliable and economical synthetic materials make the grade

The new technologies improving the reliability and availability of its aids to navigation benefit CCG in a number of ways. Today, 69% of all buoys are made of plastic materials, thereby causing a significant decrease in the annual labour needed to paint them, especially in the case of buoys used for recreational navigation.

The modern aids to navigation are also lighter and require more manageable handling equipment, making it easier to install, remove and check on buoys, and do so earlier in the navigation season. Also, the easier handling enables CCG to respond to irregular situations more promptly.

Moreover, almost 70% of light buoys are now equipped with Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights, which consume less energy than conventional lights. These LED lanterns have permanent solar panels to recharge their batteries. This solution is at once ecological and economical as it reduces the use of non-rechargeable batteries, which are expensive to dispose of since they have to be sent to special waste management sites.

Needless to say, these synthetic buoys adequately meet CCG’s safety standards and address its economic and environmental concerns.

Ghislaine Gendron, Danielle Fortin and Claude Lapierre, Canadian Coast Guard
Nathalie Letendre, Communications

Come and meet us
Boat and Water Sports Show

The Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Hydrographic Service personnel invite you to come and meet them at the Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show, which will take place at Place Bonaventure from Thursday, January 28 to Monday, February 1, 2010.

At the Canadian Coast Guard stand, we will be happy to tell you about our services and discuss the standards in place to help you and others safely navigate our waterways. You can also ask us about career opportunities within our organization.

Similarly, the Canadian Hydrographic Service is looking forward to showing you its new products, such as the new nautical charts for the Montreal region (Canal de la Rive Sud, Lac Saint-Louis and Lac des Deux Montagnes) and the latest edition of Sailing Directions: St. Lawrence River, Cap-Rouge to Montréal and Rivière Richelieu (ATL 112). While here, you can also ask us how to update your nautical charts; it’s an easy step to take to improve your boating safety.

We look forward to meeting you at the show and answering your questions.

For more information on the Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show, visit the show's website.

Guy Laberge, Canadian Coast Guard
Fannie Bernier, Canadian Hydrographic Service

DFO  N. Letendre
at the Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard offers some interesting career opportunities.

Here are just a few of them:

  • Electronics technician
  • Engine room rating
  • Deckhand / Helms (man/woman)
  • Marine communications and traffic services officer
  • Marine engineer
  • Navigation officer

For more information:
1-866-660-6948 (toll free)