Boating Safety: Top Five tips

Your Ad Here

(NC) — The arrival of boating season means that families are packing bags and gearing up for fun and relaxation on the water. However, did you know that every year approximately 100 Canadians die in accidents on the water, with another 6,000 suffering non-fatal injuries?

Almost every boating fatality is preventable, say specialists in this field. With this in mind, take a moment to review five of the most important safety tips so that your family time on the water is fun, relaxing, and trouble-free:

1. Wear a personal floatation device (PFD) at all times

Data shows that more than 90 percent of those who drown while boating were not wearing a PFD. It should be worn by all boaters in and around the water—not just when operating or riding in a vessel. Parents should do a check at the beginning of the season to ensure that they fit properly and are equipped with a collar that turns the child's face up in the water. In addition, parents should set an example by always wearing their own lifejacket on board.

2.Check weather and boating conditions before departing

Understanding the water conditions is vital to a safe day. Always check the local weather forecast, and don't take any chances. Be aware of changing conditions and keep an eye to the sky for fog, dark clouds and lightning, the obvious indicators of impending bad weather.

3. Never mix drinking with boating

Alcohol is a factor in more than 35 percent of boating related fatalities so officials remind us to never consume alcohol prior to, or while boating. Remember: “Water on the water and beer on the pier!”

4. Get certified—it's the law

Any individual operating the boat must obtain a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC), which is their proof of competency to operate a pleasure craft. It is recommended that each family member obtain his or her PCOC so that, no mater what, the watercraft is always under the control of a licensed boater. Avoid the $250 fine and get certified.

5. Pre Launch Pow-Wow

Before taking off, take a few minutes to ensure all passengers are familiarized with the safety equipment on board. Establish boating rules like staying seated when the boat is in motion and holding onto solid objects when moving about the craft. Before water sports like tubing, wakeboarding and water-skiing, review water sport hand signals.

If multiple licenses are needed in one family, a discount is offered by BoatSmart, a leading educator in boating safety. More information is available online at


There are 0 comments on this post

Leave A Comment