How to handle a fog attack on the water

Updated: July 11, 2019

fog-on-the-lake Photo by Denis Shevyakov/Shutterstock

Getting caught in the fog is never pleasant. But when it happens on the water? That’s a whole lot worse, even in daylight. The first step, according to John Gullick, the chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council, is to slow down and turn on your navigation lights. With your horn or whistle, sound a fog signal of one prolonged blast every two minutes, and, if you have one, raise a radar reflector. (If you don’t, consider getting one. They’re small and inexpensive and let other boats with radar receivers know where you are.) Typically, you hoist a standard radar reflector as high as possible, angling it at 45 degrees, four metres above the water. If possible, navigate to a nearby harbour. If not, anchor in shallow water; it won’t hurt to keep sounding your horn or whistle. “See and be seen, hear and be heard,” says Gullick.

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