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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 06-20-2013
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Question calling a bridge in Canada

Hi all. So this Saturday I plan on passing under the CN railway bridge at Second Narrows. Last time I did this there was no issue because there was no mast on the boat.

This time the mast is on with a total height to top of 13 meters and unfortunately the bridge has a clerance of 10 meters. My course for getting my VHF license is for later this summer (August) and I just want to make sure I have the procedure correct for calling the bridge.

From what I can ascertain they monitor channel 12. Do I just use the standard VHF call procedure and say " CN Bridge, CN Bridge, CN Bridge, this is the SV Bindle SV Bindle, SV Bindle." Wait for them to respond and then tell them I need the bridge raised for 50 feet of clearance and my eta. I'm not really a big fan of the idea of hanging around and blasting my horn 3 times and waiting for them to respond especially in those currents.

One other question. What channel do I do a radio check on if not 16.

Thanks and in advance I'd like to say I'm very aware of the legality of using my VHF without a proper license.
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Old 06-20-2013
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Re: calling a bridge in Canada

Sounds about right. Probably don't need the SV bit though. Radio checks are done on 83A, if you request one on 16 they'll tell you that
And yeah, you are not allowed to use your VHF (aside from to issue an emergency call) until you get your ROC(M), but you knew that.
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Old 06-20-2013
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Re: calling a bridge in Canada

Channel 12 works.. you won't always get an acknowledgement, though, and just may see the bridge going up. I'd probably call 'second narrows rail bridge' but I'm sure either will work on that channel. I think they watch pretty closely and must be used to raising it as traffic approaches unless there's rail traffic at play...

Radio checks on 26 or 83A,
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Old 06-20-2013
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Re: calling a bridge in Canada

I have always hailed on channel 12 (vancouver traffic) using Second Narrows Railway Bridge as their call sign. As Faster says they dont always respond if there is no issue but will if there is going to be a train coming and they need to lower the bridge. Hanging out around the bridge blowing a horn when the current is running 4.5 knts is not a great option.
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Old 06-20-2013
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Re: calling a bridge in Canada

They respond to "Second Narrows" on ch 12. Even if the bridge is up you should still hail them and let them know you are coming, and they will warn you if a train is coming. The last thing you want is to be hooked into a 5kt current heading for the bridge and it starts lowering! Been there, done that! They will also warn you if there is other traffic scheduled to pass under at a certain time, for example, there are fuel barges bound for the airport that can only pass through at slack, and all other vessels are required to keep clear when they are going through. If you listen to the chatter on ch 12 you'll know about it.

One thing that irritates the guys is when sailboats hail them requesting a lift when they are still 15 or 20 minutes away! I always laugh at the sarcastic responses people get when they do that!
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Old 06-21-2013
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Re: calling a bridge in Canada

In Detroit we do it like this "Waddup doe, ya wanna gimme a lift?" And then this happens: Detroit Drawbridge Freighter Accident - Business Insider
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