URLA Hazard Marking Program.
Since 2001 URLA has set out navigation markers on the Upper Rideau Lake to mark hazards in McNally Bay, off Round Island and on the Little Brothers in Kanes Bay. The buoys are set out as a service to our members and to contribute generally to boater safety on the lake. They complement but do not replace other tools available to the boater: the navigation chart for the lake, the Parks Canada channel markers, and markers placed by other organizations such as Westport to mark the channel into its harbour.
The program is completely run by volunteers who give their time and the use of their boats to sustain the program. At the north end of the lake, George Ingram and Don Rasmussen, joined this year by Dennis Duncan, maintain the Round Island and the Little Brothers buoys. In the past few years, Peter Newgard with his sons-in-law, Paul Byrne and Marc Robichaud have taken over management of the McNally Bay buoys.
Each year the buoys are set out close to the long weekend of May to coincide with the opening of navigation on the Rideau Canal and taken off around Thanksgiving weekend when the canal closes. The buoys are set out under a permit from Parks Canada which stipulates that the buoys must conform to Transport Canada’s requirements as outlined in the Private Buoy Regulations. The setting out and removal of the buoys is reported to the Canadian Coast Guard which issues a “Notship”, a notice to mariners.
This fall ( 2018) two new buoys have been purchased from Go Deep, a Canadian supplier in New Brunswick. This purchase was enabled by funding received from the Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation (many thanks to members who have donated to the Foundation) which allows us to replace buoys currently in service and provide potential for expansion if needed.
We regularly inspect the anchor chains, buoy chains and connectors on all the buoys and undertake replacement where necessary.
A network of volunteer “buoy monitors”- persons living full time on the lake who can see the buoys from their properties, has been set up. The monitors keep an eye on the buoys in their area and notify us should a buoy come off its anchor.
New recruits are always welcome. Anyone wishing to volunteer, please contact the Upper Rideau Lake Association at firstname.lastname@example.org