Safe Boating Tips (Canada)



Hi, I’m Rob the boating guy.

You know, being on the water is undoubtedly a great way to spend your time. Frankly, life’s just better with a boat. To make sure things stay that way, you should keep a few simple things in mind to ensure everyone has a great time.

For starts, take a little time to plan your day and check the weather forecast. Once you decide where you want to go, you’re want to going to decide how you’re going to navigate there and then create what’s commonly called a float plan. It’s basically the route you’re planning to take to get to your destination. Then, be sure to take a couple of minutes to share your float plan with someone before you leave. It just makes sense.

Actually, a lot of boating safety is really just common sense. Be alert, wear your life jacket, steer clear of bigger less nimble water crafts, respect buoys and other navigational aids, and operate your boat at a safe speed.

By just taking a couple of minutes to run through a check list before you set off, like making sure the drain plug is in and the pump works, you’ll be well prepared for a great day ahead.

Every person on board should have a life jacket or a PFD, that’s a personal flotation device, that fits them properly. For children, you want good neck support, leg straps for younger kids, and a snug fit so that you can lift the child out of the water by their shoulders without the life jacket slipping over their chin and shoulders. There’s lots of different styles and sizes out there. Make sure that yours are approved by Transport Canada or the Canadian cost guard before you buy.

Everyone wants to have a great time out on the water. You always want to ensure you have a safe trip boating. The simplest way to do that is to restrict the use of alcohol by everyone on board. Prevention regulations vary but typically you can only consume alcohol in a boat that has permanent toilet, sleeping and cooking facilities when it’s docked. Essentially, drinking and driving, while on land or in the water, is illegal and punishable under criminal code. As the operator, you are responsible for operating your boat safely. To do that, your best bet is to keep it simple. Drink non-alcoholic beverages when you’re out on the water, and that pretty much sums it up.

The other basic you need is a boat license. And depending on your age and the type of boat you’re driving, Transport Canada regulations require some power boat operators to have a Pleasure Craft Operators Card or PCOC. By 2009, everyone will need a PCOC to drive a power boat. Your PCOC is similar to a driver’s license and once you receive your PCOC, it’s yours for life. You can get yours by studying a basic driver’s course and then taking a straight forward test. You can get to a list of boating courses by visiting discoverboating.ca.

These are just a few tips to ensure that you and the ones you love are having a great time and are safe out on the water. It’s really just common sense and a bit of planning.

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