The ‘old technology’ of loud foghorns seems still a necessary maritime safety measure in the port of Vancouver, to demonstrate that safety is not for granted.
Metro Vancouver often has to deal with a thick fog in this season, which can be proven as one of the most dangerous conditions for marine navigation due to low visibility.
A foghorn is a fog signal sound used in marine transport during foggy conditions to warn ships of navigational hazards like rocky coastlines or of the presence of other vessels, when visual navigation aids, such as lighthouses, are obscured. Although the sound may keep local residents awake, foghorns are considered as a very helpful aid to safety.
And according to Capt. Robin Stewart, executive director of B.C. Coast Pilots as quoted by CBC news, foghorns are proven successful to any vessel, from yachts to containers. Although almost all ships nowadays dispose sophisticated radars to track any navigational hazard in foggy conditions, there is always something you can miss.
The hazard is even bigger when it is about smaller vessels that do not dispose such sophisticated systems, making old foghorns a significant need to avoid marine casualties, despite Vancouverites’ frustration about the noise.
“The fact is, if it will prevent someone from getting hurt — it’s worthwhile,” noted Capt. Stewart.