Hydrographic Survey Management Guidelines

9 Reporting

Reports must be produced in order to:

  • signal dangers found during the hydrographic survey,
  • inform on the progress of the survey,
  • detail how the survey was done,
  • describe and evaluate new methods and processes employed, or new equipment used,
  • provide management with information necessary to plan and execute future surveys,
  • provide recommendations in support of continuous improvement.

Reports provide a complete and convenient index of the work carried out during the field survey period and are important for immediate action, when required. More importantly, they give invaluable information as reference documents for the planning and budgeting of future hydrographic surveys.

9.1 Reporting Dangers to Navigation

Uncharted dangers to navigation found during the course of a hydrographic survey must be reported immediately to the Regional Director of Hydrography. The navigation community will also have to be informed using CCG’s Notices to Shipping or Notices to Mariners.

When evaluating the importance of dangers, the size, type and draft of ships frequenting the area, as well as the location of the danger in relation to shipping lanes, must be considered.

If the HIC considers that immediate action must be taken, he / she is to contact the nearest Coast Guard Radio Station and request that a broadcast Notice to Shipping be issued immediately. This must be followed by an urgent transmission the Regional Director of Hydrography advising of the action taken. The other agencies concerned (Transport Canada, Harbour Master, Pilot authorities, DND, etc.) should also be informed directly. All of these communications must be recorded, including the details of all the communications such as; date, time, persons contacted and signature of the HIC.

Further investigation may be required to fully define the hazards.

If the HIC, after evaluating the results of the examination of the hazard, considers that the feature is not sufficiently critical to originate a Notice to Shipping, he / she shall inform the Regional Director of Hydrography by the most expeditious means available, so that a Notice to Mariners can be issued as quickly as possible. If applicable, the other agencies concerned (Transport Canada, Harbour Master, Pilot authorities, DND, etc.) should also be notified.

All radio and telephone communication with the Regional Director of Hydrography must be logged and confirmed immediately by a written report, which is to include all details requisite for Notice to Shipping action.

Fixed aids and buoys out of position, extinguished lights, different light characteristics, etc. should be reported immediately to the local Coast Guard office followed up by a report to the Regional Director of Hydrography.

9.2 Progress reports

If the survey is to extend over a long period, it may be of interest to have the HIC produce progress reports on a monthly basis or other suitable interval. The report may contain the following information:

  • a title page,
  • a list of contents,
  • a list of participating staff, including hydrographers, electronic technicians, casuals, summer students, helicopter personnel, etc., listing their names, functions and dates of arrival and departure,
  • a list of projects undertaken including project title and number and type,
  • the percentage of completeness for each project,
  • a chronology of significant events (not a day to day account),
  • a brief account of the planning, the preparations and the operations for the reporting period,
  • budget summary,
  • general comments as to equipment performance, progress made, future plans,
  • sketches to show work completed (sounding coverage and limits, control work, remaining work, etc.),
  • statistics required by management,
  • other pertinent information.

The progress reports are to be submitted to the Regional Director of Hydrography or the Manager of Field Surveys or Data Acquisition as soon as possible at the end of the specified interval.

9.3 Project report

Upon completion of the hydrographic field survey, a Final Field Report must be produced. The project report should give a record of the work completed by a hydrographic survey team during a particular field season. This report is circulated to all levels in the CHS as well as to people and agencies outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). The project report should be submitted to the Regional Director of Hydrography as soon as possible after the end of the field survey. Once approved, the final project report will be distributed to the following:

  • Director General, CHS (mandatory hard-copy)
  • Manager, Planning CHS-HQ (mandatory hard-copy)
  • All Regional Directors, CHS
  • Chair of each standing committee
  • Manager, Hydrographic Survey, Newfoundland and Labrador

Optionally, or as regional policy or QMS procedures may dictate, these reports may also be distributed to the following:

  • Regional Director, Science
  • Regional Director General, DFO
  • DFO regional library (hard-copy suggested)
  • HDC (2 hard-copies – in case one is loaned out)
  • Captain of survey vessel (hard-copy suggested)
  • Digital copy for National CHS Intranet site (must be in both official languages)

The appropriate distribution format may be regionally specified or specified by the intended recipient. Digital versions may be distributed by E-mail, placed on a web page, placed in public folders or on a shared drive depending on regional policy or at the request of the intended recipient. The most important criteria being that those who wish a copy receive it in a form that suits them and by a delivery method that is the most effective.

The field survey team may have worked on more than one project during the course of the field season. If such is the case, all items common to the various projects worked on (list of participating staff, list of major craft and equipment used, chronology of significant events, etc.) should be identified only once in the final report whereas details specific to each project undertaken (planning, preparations, how work was done, what areas are completed and those not, etc.) should be detailed for each of the projects undertaken.

The project report should include the following information:

  • a cover page listing the following information:
    • Name of establishment (i.e. Canadian Hydrographic Service)
    • Region
    • Title (i.e. Final Field Report)
    • Project number
    • Name of ships and Cruise number (if applicable)
    • Type of Survey (i.e. standard, control, tides and water levels, revisory, etc.)
    • Period of operation
    • General area of operations (geographic name)
  • a list of contents
  • a list of participating staff
  • a list of major crafts and equipment
  • the chronology of important events (routine events can be grouped e.g. June 1 to 15 –sounding work)
  • planning, preparations
  • operations undertaken to complete the work assigned
  • a list of the projects undertaken, if more than one
  • details pertaining to each of the separate locations (see below)
  • conclusions and recommendations as they apply for the whole of the project
  • statistics (grouped by location and then summed to give project’s totals)
  • photographs and images that illustrate any phase of the work, vessel and equipment used, accidents, etc.

The project report must also include details for each location. The following information is required for each location:

  • location
  • period of operation
  • chronology of major events
  • planning, preparations and operations
  • how horizontal control was established (include sketches if necessary)
  • how vertical control was recovered
  • how shoreline –if any – was established
  • how soundings were collected, processed and reduced
  • a statement qualifying the order of precision of the data obtained
  • a list of information submitted including titles, limits, numbers and scales (it may be advantageous to show this information in a sketch)
  • project status (which areas are complete and which areas will require additional work - usually in sketch form)
  • conclusions and recommendations as they apply to the specific location
  • photographs pertaining specifically to the location may also be included

If only one project was undertaken (or if a separate project report is produced for each location), the project report should be more homogeneous and incorporate all the information required to detail the work for a specific location.

9.4 Technical and other special reports

It may be necessary to write other reports in order to satisfy national or regional administration requests. These can include mission reports, cruise reports, vehicle reports, launch or craft reports, equipment reports, etc. These reports should be done according to the regional Hydrographic Survey QMS procedures or other procedures put in place in other sections of the regional office.

It may be of interest to produce special or technical reports that will describe and/or evaluate new processes, new methods, new equipment, etc. used during the field season. Such reports can also be produced regarding test results arising from field trials of new equipment, processes or methods of work.

9.5 Reporting accidents

Injuries sustained by personnel or damages to vehicles, launches or survey equipment resulting from an accident must be reported as soon as possible to the Regional Director of Hydrography by telephone, facsimile or radio message. It is necessary to fill out the applicable form: a Hazardous Occurrence and Investigation Report (HOIR), an Employer’s Report and Employee’s Report and a Motor Vehicle Report.

Guidance can be found on which form to use, how to fill it out, by when, and who to send it to from the regional authorities.

The reports include information like:

  • the nature of any injury sustained by personnel
  • type of accident, what occurred, its location, date and time
  • the extent of damage to the vehicle, the launch or equipment
  • if another vessel is involved, its name, owner, registry number and port (or licence number and district), and extent of damage

In all cases, and especially those that might result in claims for damage, the initial report shall be followed immediately by a detained written report including sketches, and photographs if appropriate, and names of witnesses, etc. No acknowledgement of responsibility or liability should be made to the other party.

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