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AToN are “traffic signals” that guide boat operators safely along some waterways. They also identify dangerous or controlled areas and give direction and information. In Belize, buoys with lights and lighthouses are used as aids to navigation. These navigational lights play a vital role in Belize’s coastal waters and are of national interest. There are eighteen (18) lighthouses countrywide with seven (06) being manned by the Belize Port Authority.
Belize also has an international obligation under the SOLAS Convention to ensure safe passage of vessels calling to our international ports. The provision of updated nautical charts and AtoN are in fulfillment of that obligation. Belize, through the Belize Port Authority, is required to comply with the international standards with respect to maintenance of these AtoN. This includes specific colour scheme and shape of the AtoN, frequencies, positions, and a timely response to AtoN which are missing, out of position, dull or is compromised in any way.
Marking of Channels
Actions during restricted visibility
In times of restricted visibility (fog, heavy rain) a bell, horn or whistle should be sounded by vessels to alert other vessels in the vicinity of their approach.
These navigational lights play a vital role in Belize’s coastal waters and are of national interest.