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Article: Boating Safety Awareness Week

Boating Safety Awareness Week

Boating Safety Awareness Week

May 20th - 26th is an important time of the year. Not only because of the May Long Weekend, but because it is Boating Safety Awareness Week across North America. We live for the weekend, but we also know that safety is an essential part of enjoying the summer. It is essential to be prepared when enjoying the water, and being knowledgeable of the potential dangers. 

There are five essentials to staying safe on the water:

  • Wear a Life Jacket
  • Boat Sober
  • Take a Boating Course
  • Be Prepared, Both You and Your Vessel
  • Be Wary of the Dangers of Cold Water Immersion

Wearing a Life Jacket

There is no argument that wearing a life jacket is essential when participating in boating or water sports. In fact, it is the law that each passenger must have an appropriately sized life jacket when on board. Over 80% of Canadians who drowned while boating were not wearing their life jacket or were not wearing it properly. Even the most practiced individuals require a life jacket. The biggest question is, which life jacket do you choose to keep you and your loved ones safe all summer. Not only should you wear a life jacket, it should be in good shape and fit properly. It should also be properly fastened to the manufacturer's recommendation. For questions on ordering the proper life jacket for you and your loved ones, please reach out to our accessories team at any of our locations.

Boat Sober

Operating any motorized vehicle under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, recreational drugs, or prescription narcotics is illegal. The same rules apply whether you are operating a boat, personal watercraft, ATV, car, or any other vehicle. The repercussions remain the same as well; if you drive your watercraft under the influence, you can lose your license to operate any motorized vehicle. Legalities aside, driving under the influence is dangerous and potentially deadly to yourself, your passengers, and anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity. 

All substances should stay behind on the dock, regardless of if you are a driver or a passenger, as having open substances is illegal; no different than a car, your passengers cannot drink in a moving boat. According to Alberta law, the only time it is legal for passengers to consume alcohol on a boar it when anchored or moored, on a boat with permanent cooking, sleeping, and bathroom facilities. The driver must remain sober and ensure there is no open alcohol on board before driving. Keep it safe, drive sober. Review The Consumption While Boating Laws Below.



British Columbia

Take The Boating Course

By law, all individuals whom operate a power-driven watercraft require proof of competency. The most common is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card, which proves you hold the basic knowledge to operate safely. This card is obtained by passing a written exam, either in person or online. Individuals caught operating a watercraft without an operator card will received fines, with a minimum fine of $250. The license will last your entire lifetime. For more information on how to get a watercraft license, see below:

Transport Canada Accredited Course Providers

Transport Canada Operator Card FAQ

Be Prepared

To ensure boating safety, ensure you are thoroughly prepared before each trip from the dock. Ensure the weather is suitable for safe travels, and that you have sufficient fuel. Check for safety gear, and ensure it is all in working order. The Government of Canada requires all watercrafts to have the correct safety equipment on boat, and the requirements vary by boat size. The essentials for all boats include life jackets for all passengers, one re-boarding device, and one buoyant heaving line. For the break down of legal requirements for your boat, see the Government of Canada Safe Boating Guide. Shop boating safety & mooring accessories here.

Be Cold Water Safe

The air may be warm, and it may appear to be beautiful lake weather. However, warm air does not always signify warm water. It is essential to understand the risks of cold water and prioritize keeping safe. A person's body heat can be lost 25x faster in cold water. The strongest of swimmers will lose muscle control after around ten minutes in cold water. Cold water shock can result in a lack of breathing control, even in calm waters or with strong swimmers. Life Jackets and thermal protection such as Wetsuits save lives. 

We live for the weekends. But throughout the good times and the sunshine, safety remains the highest priority.

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