Safety and guidelines

Sable Island National Park Reserve

Be prepared and stay safe while enjoying your visit!

Important bulletins

Important announcements, notifications, and active superintendent orders.

Protecting Sable Island

Biosecurity measures to protect Sable Island and leave no trace.

Visiting a remote location

Be prepared, medication, terrain.

You are responsible for your own safety. Parks Canada can help you prepare by providing you with trip planning information. Remember, a safe visit is a good visit.

Please begin with the tips below. You can contact us with any questions about conditions on the island.

When you arrive on the island, Parks Canada staff will provide you with a welcome and orientation.

Parks Canada is working closely with our federal partners, including Environment Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, to ensure the safety of visitors and staff on at Sable Island National Park Reserve.

We rarely head out for an outdoor adventure with the expectation that something will go wrong, and most times everything will go right. However, sometimes the unexpected happens and when it does, it’s important that you are well informed and well prepared to minimize the negative impact of unfortunate circumstances.

See general information on how to stay safe and a list of the 10 essential items you should bring when enjoying the outdoors.

For important information about staying safe while enjoying Sable Island National Park Reserve, see the topics below.

Important bulletins

Important announcements, notifications, and active superintendent orders.


All animals on Sable Island are wild animals, including the horses. Please do not feed, approach, or harass wildlife. Seals, horses, nesting birds, and sharks can all pose risks to your safety if you do not respect them as wildlife.

Severe weather

Located in the North Atlantic, Sable Island can be subject to severe weather conditions. It is advised to bring a variety of clothing and equipment to be prepared for various weather conditions.

Visiting a remote location

With the possibility of travel delays, hazards in the terrain (including quicksand, steep slopes, etc.) and limited medical response on the island, it is possible for minor medical concerns to become life-threatening situations.

Travelling by air and sea

Landing on Sable Island, either by aircraft or boat poses some hazards given the variability in landing conditions and weather.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. At Parks Canada, we do our part to make sure you can have a safe visit by assessing the risks, managing hazards, and making sure that safety information is freely available to everyone. You can do your part as visitors by making sure you seek out the information you need to stay safe and make well informed decisions while enjoying these special places. Visit our websites and stop at a visitor center to speak with our employees for the most up to date information. Make sure you are fully prepared for whatever activities you choose to participate in so you can have a safe, enjoyable and memorable visit.

Emergency contact numbers if you are on or near Sable Island:

In case of an emergency on the island you may be conscripted to assist Parks Canada personnel with a response.

In a first aid situation, you should advise the Operations Coordinator or other Main Station personnel immediately, and administer first aid as required and as you are able.

In case of a structural fire on the island, or upon hearing a fire alarm, there are marked muster points at the Main Station where you should gather and wait in safety until direction from the Operations Coordinator. If you detect a fire, you should sound the fire alarm and evacuate the building and contact the Operations Coordinator.

On-island Operations Coordinator:

  • Call 902-492-4678 from a regular phone, satellite phone, or by using the phones accessible to visitors on the island. 
  • Or use Channel 08 on Marine Radio VHF-FM

For distress call (Air or marine emergency):
Near Sable Island; call 1-800-565-1582 (Joint Rescue Coordination Centre)
On Sable Island; call 1-800-852-3100 (Parks Canada Dispatch)

For an environmental emergency (marine pollution):
1-800-565-1633 (Canadian Coast Guard Communications and Traffic Services Centre)

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