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Boating Safety

Keep your summer fun and safe!

  • 8 June 2018
  • Author: Safety Ahead
  • Number of views: 7469
Boating Safety

Summer has finally arrived in Alberta! And many people like to take advantage of our warm summer days by escaping o their favorite lake for a little R&R, which often involves the operation of boats. While this is a fun pastime it can also be dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. Canadian law also requires that boats are equipped with marine safety equipment. So we’re here to provide you with some information and tips to help you enjoy your boat in a safe way.


  1. Pleasure Craft Operators License
  2. Canadian approved flotation devices or lifejackets – there must be a lifejacket in an appropriate size for each passenger on board.
  3. Buoyant heaving line at least 15 metres in length.
  4. Watertight/proof flashlight OR approved flares (Type A, B, or C)
  5. Sound signaling device (air horn)
  6. Manual propelling device (paddle)
  7. Anchor with 15 metres of rope, chain or cable.
  8. Bailer or manual water pump
  9. Appropriate size/class fire extinguisher
  10. First Aid Kit
  11. Review emergency response signals, procedures and protocol with all passengers. Especially young children.

In addition to safety equipment the following items are suggested for boating excursions:

  1. Clean drinking water
  2. Sun Screen/Insect repellent
  3. Hats
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Extra sets of dry clothing and towels
  6. Snacks/food for the trip (including extra non-perishable snacks for longer trips is a good idea also)
  7. Waterproof matches
  8. Knife
  9. Floating keychain

Alcohol and Boating

Every year hundreds of people die in unintentional water-related accidents and unfortunately almost 65% of these deaths resulted from the use of alcohol. Over 40% of boating related fatalities involve the use of alcohol. 37% of boaters in Canada admit to consuming alcohol every time they boat and

66% report they drink alcohol sometimes when boating.

How does alcohol consumption affect the boater?

  • diminishes judgment and the ability to process information,
  • reduces motor skills, peripheral vision and balance,
  • slows reaction and reflex response time,
  • reduces depth perception, vision and focus,
  • disturbs the inner ear thus reducing your ability to distinguish the water surface if you fall in, and
  • accelerates hypothermia.

Boating can be a fun activity for people of all ages when it’s done safely. So stay safe, stay sober (while boating anyways) and have a great summer!


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