Bulletin No.: 06/1988

Date (Y-M-D): 1988-03-04

Subject: Sailing Plans and Position Reporting - Fishing Vessels

  1. The Government of Canada's Search and Rescue ( SAR ) organization maintains Rescue Coordination Centres ( RCC ) and Marine Rescue Sub Centres ( MRSC ) to assist mariners in distress.
  2. Each year hundreds of fishing vessels are reported overdue. The unstructured nature of their voyages makes it difficult to determine an accurate position from which to begin a search. Prior to sailing, fishermen should complete a sailing plan that will increase the possibility of being rescued in the event of an emergency.
  3. The attached sailing plan will provide rescue centres with the necessary information required for a successful rescue.
  4. Upon completion the sailing plan should be left with a responsible person who will contact the nearest Rescue Coordination Centre or Marine Rescue Sub Centre when the vessel becomes overdue. This person could be a relative of a crew member, or a wharfinger, union official, fish plant manager, local police or fisheries officer.
  5. Once the voyage has commenced, fishermen should:

    .1 maintain a regular radio call schedule at least one a day with the person holding the sailing plan;

    .2 advise immediately of any changes to the scheduled voyage; and

    .3 cancel the sailing plan upon completion of the voyage.

  6. Should a fishing vessel be late in making the scheduled regular radio call and cannot be contacted by radio, the person holding the sailing plan should telephone the nearest Rescue Coordination Centre or Marine Rescue Sub Centre. This telephone call can be made toll free.
  7. In the event of a radio malfunction during the voyage, the fishing vessel 's master should contact the closest vessel to request a transmission relay to report the breakdown to the person holding the sailing plan.
  8. Fishermen can further assist by maintaining a strict radio watch on the appropriate frequencies. On many occasions search and rescue ships and aircraft have been tasked to search for a vessel simply because the vessel did not respond to radiocommunications.
R.C.C. HALIFAX 1-800-565-1582 R.C.C. TRENTON 1-800-267-7270
1-902-427-8200 1-613-392-2811
  LOCAL 3870 OR 3875
R.C.C. VICTORIA 1-800-742-1313 R.C.C. EDMONTON 1-800-661-5631
IN VICTORIA 604-380-2333 403-973-8402
IN VANCOUVER 604-666-8087  
MRSC QUEBEC CITY 1-800-463-4393 MRSC ST. JOHN'S 1-709-772-5151
418-648-3599 (ASK FOR MRSC)
  ZENITH 07021


A Sailing Plan Could Be Kept in a School Notebook

Part I

(This part contains permanent details and could be placed on the inside front cover).

Telephone number of nearest RCC or MRSC

Vessel Name Colour of Hull

Vessel Registration Colour of Deck

Vessel Licence Colour of Cabin

Fishing Number # of flares

Name of Master # of lifejackets

Address # of immersion suits

Phone Number # of liferaft and size

Homeport # of lifeboats and description:

Length of Vessel


Radio Equipment frequencies fitted:








Part II

(This part changes with every voyage and could be kept in the same notebook using a different page for each trip).

Departure date and time

Vessel endurance in hours and days

Intended fishing areas

Proposed route

Estimated date and time of return

Number of persons onboard

Times of regular radio calls with person

holding the sailing plan

Probable port of refuge

If fishing with another vessel,

the name of the other vessel

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. Fishing 
2. Sailing
3. Plans
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

To add or change your address, contact us at: marinesafety@tc.gc.ca

Owners of commercial vessels, registered and licensed, automatically receive Bulletins.