Stay safe on the water this summer

Thousands of people will be out on the water this week to enjoy the summer. While no one wants to think that going out on the water with family and friends can turn in an instant, it happens. Every year there are more than 100 boating related casualties.

Always wear your life-jacket when on the water. It could save your life.

Much of Canada’s water is cold year-round, so always wear a life-jacket while boating. Why? Most boating fatalities are caused by a combination of cold water shock and not wearing a life-jacket.

The law requires boat operators to carry an approved life-jacket that fits, for each person on board. Wear it! No longer bulky and ugly, today’s life-jackets are comfortable and slim-fitting .

Be prepared. Anything can happen on the water, that is why before you leave shore:

• inspect all of your equipment
• make sure you have the proper gear required for your vessel size
• check the weather forecast
• leave a trip plan with a responsible person on shore
• bring along your marine charts

Most pleasure boats must carry:

• life-jackets
• a floating heaving line
• flares and/or a flashlight
• a manual bilge pump or bailer
• navigation lights
• paddles
• an anchor
• a fire extinguisher, and
• a whistle or horn

Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
Every powerboat operator must have proof of competency with a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), along with photo ID — or face a $250 fine.

The best way to get your proof of competency is to take a safe boating course. To learn more about boating safety courses and how to prepare for a safe outdoor adventure, visit www.boatingsafety.gc.ca.

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