Bulletin No.: 09/2000

Date (Y-M-D): 2000-06-23

Subject: Navigation lights and ranges of visibility

A recent collision where five people lost their lives highlights again the need to ensure that fitted navigation lights are in compliance with the requirements of the "Collision Regulations" ( TP 10739) and "Standards for Navigation Lights, Shapes, Sound Signal Appliances and Radar Reflectors" ( TP 1861).

The purpose of this Bulletin is to remind shipowners, agents, vessel operators, and in particular masters of vessels towing or pushing non-propelled vessels that the towed or pushed vessels are required to exhibit the prescribed navigation lights.

The requirements for pleasure craft navigation lights can be obtained from the latest edition of the Safe Boating Guide: Office of Boating Safety at 1-800-267-6687 or www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca

Portable battery operated lights, such as "Scotty" lanterns manufactured by Scott Plastics Ltd. of Victoria, B.C., and kerosene/oil lanterns may be in use by the towing industry as permanent or temporary navigation lights for barges, tows, log booms, etc. Test results from these lights are shown below and indicate a marked decrease in the range of visibility from that which is required. Not all of these lights may be marketed or manufactured for the purpose of navigation lights meeting the requirements of the collision regulations.

Type Range as Tested Range Required As Above
Scotty 0.286 - 0.359 NM. 3.00 NM
Detz Kerosene/Oil 1.780 - 2.200 NM 3.00 NM
NM = Nautical Mile

Transportation Safety Board data indicates that navigation light deficiencies have been and continue to be a factor in numerous collisions or "risk of collision" marine occurrences. Operators should ensure that the various lights available on the market and intended to be fitted and used as navigation lights are in fact designed and manufactured for that purpose. The lights exhibited must be properly installed: bulbs used must be those recommended by the light manufacturer for the required range of visibility and there must be sufficient power for the lights throughout the duration of the voyage. Batteries providing power for the lights should be adequately protected and firmly secured.

It is imperative for navigation safety that all vessels, including non-self propelled vessels are fitted with and display navigation lights that are in full compliance with the requirements of the "Collision Regulations" ( TP 10739) and "Standards for Navigation Lights, Shapes, Sound Signal Appliances and Radar reflectors" ( TP 1861). Operators are reminded that under provisions of the Canada Shipping Act where vessels are found to be non-compliant, the vessel may be detained and fines imposed.

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. Navigation Lights
2. Barge Lights
3. Collision rules
Antony Kasprzak
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

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