Canada’s beautiful coastlines and thousands of lakes and rivers offer recreational boaters a lifetime of recreation on the water. From simple one-day outings to elaborate multi-day excursions, from fishing to cruising, Canada’s world-class waters offer endless opportunities for adventure!
With any outdoor activity, there’s always an element of risk, and boating is no exception. Ensure that you’re prepared before you venture out and meet all legal requirements for onboard safety equipment:
- All operators of motorized pleasure craft used for recreational purposes must carry proof of competency on board, typically the Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
- Take a boating safety course such as the Lifesaving Society’s Boat Operator Accredited Training (BOAT).
- Check the marine weather and your fuel supply before you leave.
- Wear a properly fitting lifejacket or PFD.
- Ensure that you have all legally required safety equipment on board.
- Never drink and drive your boat.
- Look before you act, and ensure that you have the legally required lights after dark or during conditions of reduced visibility.
Check the pages on power boating, paddling and sailing for guidelines and legal requirements specific to those type of water craft. For comprehensive inforamtion about regulations and guidelines for types of boating, visit the www.smartboater.ca website.
Transport Canada works with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons and other boating safety organizations to offer free courtesy checks for pleasure craft. If you agree to have a check done, a trained boating safety volunteer will board your boat to check out the safety equipment and other requirements, identify any problems and discuss general boating safety issues.
Education and prevention are the keys to this program. Since there are no penalties involved, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about boating safety and make sure you are ready to head out on the water. The knowledge you gain from a courtesy check will help you to stay safe on the water year after year. Visit the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons website for more information.