The original station opened in 1908 on a high sandstone bluff know as Cape Lazo. The initial call sign for this station was SKD but was changed to VAC in 1913. The original name of Lazo, or Cape Lazo Radio was later changed to Comox Radio and eventually Comox Coast Guard Radio. Contrary to most east coast and Great Lakes stations, the west coast service was not run by the Marconi Company but by Government employees from what was then called the Department of Marine and Fisheries. Initially, the station had a range of 150 miles. Not unlike most stations in the west coast network, the power supply for Cape Lazo was generated by a 5 horsepower gas engine.
For nearly six decades the Cape Lazo Station provided mainly safety and weather broadcast service from its site on top of the bluff. In 1962 a new station was built in the civil air terminal building and operations continued from the airport until 1993, when a new facility was completed on the original site at Cape Lazo.
In 1994, with the closure of Alert Bay CG Radio, Comox CG Radio's area of responsibility (AOR) and staff doubled, now encompassing all of Johnstone Strait, Queen Charlotte Strait and southern Queen Charlotte Sound.
The integration of the Coast Guard Radio and Vessel Traffic Services functions offered the alignment of the radio and traffic functions to be covered; this simplified the operation for the Centre and its clients. Comox MCTS Centre became a fully integrated MCTS Centre on April 1, 1996.
Area of Responsibility:
Communication Sites Located at:
For Radio Services call Comox Coast Guard Radio.
For Vessel Traffic Services call Comox Traffic.
Canadian Coast Guard
Officer-in-Charge - MCTS Operations
Comox MCTS Centre
P.O. Box 220
Lazo, BC V0R 2K0
Call Sign: VAC
Maritime Mobile Service Identity Number: 00 316 0014 MCTS
Comox/VAC - Ship/shore Communications:
Continuous broadcast information available by telephone:
AREA WHISKEY GOLF (WG)
Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental & Test Ranges
Exercise Area W.G.
The Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and test Ranges, situated in the Strait of Georgia, tests ship's systems and torpedoes. No explosives whatsoever are used: however, a hazard exists due to the possibility of vessels being struck by an unarmed torpedo on its way to the surface.
The area, designated AREA 'WG' (whiskey golf) is clearly marked on Canadian Hydrographic Charts 3512 and 3459.
Testing is usually carried out between 0700-1730 Monday to Friday and sometimes and Saturday. All vessels are advised to avoid the area during active hours. Range vessels exhibit a flashing red light in addition to the prescribed lights and shapes.
Range vessels may operate outside of the above hours and should not be approached closer that 3000 yards as the vessel may be in a 3 point moor with mooring lines extending to 1500 yards. Additionally, lighted as will as unlighted bouys are randomly located within the area.
A transit area 1,000 yards north of Winchelsea Island and 1000 yards east of South Ballenas Isand has been established to enable mariners to transit safely around the active area. This area is clearly depicted on the above charts by means of pecked lines.
During active testing, any vessel within the area bounded by the co-ordinates:
will be required to clear the area on demand.
Area 'WG' constitutes a "defence establishment" as defined in the National Defence Act to which the Defence Controlled Access Area Regulations apply.
Additional information as to active hours may be obtained from:
Winchelseas Control advises Victoria MCTS of their planned activity times. Victoria MCTS in turn will transmit a voice security broadcast announcement on VHF Ch.16 and complete the text of this broadcast on the 24hr Continuous Marine Broadcast Frequency (WX1).
Due to countless requests from vessels (at times only minutes from other calls), mariners approaching Area 'WG' and wishing to find out if Area 'WG' is active or not are requested to monitor this channel prior to calling.