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Boating Safety Guide

boating safety

Summertime means it’s boating season! Boating is a family-fun activity to explore sites along different bodies of water, go fishing or engage in water sports such as water-skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, etc. But before venturing on the water, it is important to prepare in advance to ensure you have the right boat safety equipment to make a safer, more enjoyable boating experience.

Moreover, be sure to review mandatory and recommended safety equipment and verify that passengers are equipped and educated on what to do in the event of an emergency. If you are not sure about the boating safety equipment requirements and other precautions, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Read below for more information on boating safety.

Boating Safety Equipment Requirements

In addition to your boating license and/or Pleasure Craft Operating Card, by law, you are required to carry marine safety equipment on board in the case of an emergency. These items include:

  • Canadian-approved personal flotation device or lifejacket of appropriate size for every passenger on board.
  • Buoyant heavy line – must be at least 15 metres in length.
  • A watertight flashlight or Canadian-approved flares – Type A, B, or C.
  • Sound-signalling device – i.e., Whistle.
  • Manual propelling device (i.e., Paddle, Ore) or an anchor with 15 metres of rope, chain, or cable.
  • Bailer or manual water pump.
  • Class 5 BC fire extinguisher.
Additional Safety Equipment
  • First Aid Kit
  • Drinking-water
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Dry clothing (i.e., long-sleeved shirt)
  • Towels
  • Snacks
  • Waterproof matches
  • Knife

Alcohol & Drugs

“Every year hundreds of people die as a result of boating-related activities. Almost 65% of these deaths involve the use of alcohol,” (Canadian Red Cross, 2022).

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs includes operating all motorized vehicles – including a boat or personal watercraft. It is just as illegal as driving a car impaired and can be even more dangerous.

  • 37% of Canadian boaters admit to consuming alcohol every time they boat
  • 66% report they consume alcohol sometimes while boating
  • 40% of recreational boating fatalities are linked to alcohol
Be Reponsible!
  • Never consume alcohol or drugs while operating a personal watercraft or boat.
  • Be sure to have a designated driver.
  • Ensure everyone is wearing a lifejacket or a personal flotation device while on the vessel.

Weather Conditions

It is important to check the weather forecast in advance. If there are signs of rain, thunderstorms or lighting, refrain from venturing on the water. Also, remember to check the water conditions and any other hazards that could pose threats to yourself and your passengers.

Stay Protected with TIM!

At TIM, we believe boating safety should never be overlooked. Ensuring you have the right safety equipment on board and taking action on other safety requirements will promote safety for you and your passengers while out on waterways.

From yachts to sea-doos, recreational watercrafts are valuable assets you want to protect. We can help protect that investment by helping you choose the ideal personal watercraft insurance coverage that suits your individual needs. Contact us to learn more.

For more information, visit the Canadian Red Cross