Explore the outdoors on the water with your family this spring

The warmer weather is a perfect excuse to head outside and enjoy our gorgeous waterways. Boating is a recreational activity your whole family will certainly enjoy together. Here are some key safety tips to keep in mind for popular water activities:

Personal Watercraft (PWC) . The safe use of a motorized pleasure craft including PWC requires skill and experience. PWC operators must be at least 16 years old and have proof of competency on board. Always wear a Canadian-approved lifejacket or personal flotation device. You’ll want to wear thermal protection when operating in water less than 15°C. Attach the engine shut-off line securely to your wrist, lifejacket or personal flotation device to assist with any urgencies.

Waterskiing. The rules for waterskiing also apply to other recreational towing activities like barefoot skiing, tubing, kneeboarding and parasailing. Transport Canada regulations require a spotter on board and an empty seat on your boat for each person you are towing in case they need to come on board. If you use a boat for waterskiing, it needs to be able to carry three or more people on board.

Kayaking. Choose a bright colour such as red, yellow or orange for your Canadian-approved lifejacket or personal flotation device, as well as your kayak, so that other boat operators can see you. Keep signaling devices within easy reach in case of emergency. If you are sea-kayaking, be aware of water temperatures, tides, currents, wind and maritime traffic.

Fishing and hunting. In addition to having proof of competency, ensure you have all the required safety equipment on board. Avoid overloading the boat, as it may affect its stability and make it difficult to handle. Dress for the weather to help prevent hypothermia and cold water shock. One small mistake can put you in the water and your survival could depend on you being well prepared.

If you’re renting a boat or using your own, be sure to follow basic boating safety practices. Plan your route and check the condition of your safety equipment. Never operate you pleasure craft under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you’re renting, be sure to carefully listen to the safety briefing provided by the rental agency and follow the appropriate rental boat safety checklist.

Find more information at www.canada.ca/rental-boat-safety.

Source – www.newscanada.com



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