Navigation Bridge Visibility Obstruction - SSB No.: 02/2020

RDIMS No .: 15841218
Date (Y-M-D) : 2023-02-21

We issue Ship Safety Bulletins for the marine community. Visit our Website at to view existing bulletins and to sign up to receive e-mail notices of new ones.

Important notice:

This is an update of bulletin No: 02/2020 regarding the Canadian bridge visibility requirements. The reference to bridge visibility has been repealed under the Navigation Safety Regulations and replaced by the new bridge visibility reference under section 140 of the consolidated Navigation Safety Regulations, 2020.


This Bulletin is to clarify the Canadian bridge visibility requirements in reference to section  140 of the Navigation Safety Regulations, 2020 and Regulation 22 of Chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, (SOLAS) as amended.

What you need to know

Despite the provisions listed in Regulation 3.2 of Chapter V of the SOLAS Convention regarding exemptions and equivalencies,  vessels that do not meet the above-referenced bridge visibility requirements will not be authorized to navigate on the St. Lawrence River upstream of Les Escoumins Pilot Station, in the province of Quebec.

This instruction is based on recent evaluations, in which it was determined by Transport Canada, Marine Safety and Security, and the Pilotage Authorities, that some deck cargo did not comply with the visibility areas prescribed under Regulation 22 of Chapter V, and that this is unsafe.

Reduced visibility from the bridge poses a high risk to the safety of navigation upstream of Les Escoumins, particularly when considering the following factors:

  • Obscured areas
  • Reciprocal courses
  • Traffic and narrow channels
  • Bridges, lock structures, where applicable

Consequently, all vessels that have reduced bridge visibility and do not comply with the above noted requirements will not be authorized to navigate in pilotage waters upstream of Les Escoumins until it has been demonstrated to Transport Canada, Marine Safety and Security that the regulatory requirements have been met.

Note: This Bulletin complements Bulletin 03/1992.


1. Bridge visibility
2. Deck Cargo
3. Navigation Safety

Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:

Navigation Safety and Radio Communication

Transport Canada
Marine Safety and Security
Place de Ville, Tour C
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5

Contact us at: Email: or Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).