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Late night ship fog horns keeping Vancouverites awake

DH Vancouver Staff Jan 27, 2014 9:54 am

Thick fog has engulfed Metro Vancouver for much of the past nine days, and while it has given photographers an opportunity to capture beautiful vistas it has been accompanied by the constant drone of fog horns around the clock.

The blaring noise can be sourced to the cargo and tanker ships parked and passing through Burrard Inlet as an measure of maritime safety during restricted visibility. Ship captains are enabled by international maritime law to use their horns in such conditions.

You can get a good idea of how many ships are in the Lower Mainland’s waters when you consider that Vancouver is Canada’s busiest port and North America’s fourth largest. Its operations and activities are a major economic and job generator for the region.

Of course, safety always needs to come as the priority – the noise is an highly effective method for ships to warn other vessels of their position and actions.

However, the recent frequency of the loud horn blasts throughout the day, even late into the night and early-morning hours, has been a major cause for irritation with many Vancouverites taking to social media to complain.

In Vancouver, the blasts from Burrard Inlet can be clearly heard as far south as West 20th Avenue, but residents living closer to the water are most affected with the intruding horns going off as frequent as every few seconds.

The constant blasts are also bothering those living in the North Shore, UBC, Steveston, along the Fraser River and Delta.

For those who are aggravated and experiencing issues with sleeping through the noise pollution, there is good news: a reprieve is in sight. The necessity for the frequent warning blasts will likely dissipate, at least temporarily, with weather forecasts calling for the end of the temperature inversion and the return of rainfall beginning on Tuesday.

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Featured Image: Max Rivest

DH Vancouver Staff
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