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7 Safe Boating Practices

safe boating

Eastern Ontario is filled with beautiful lakes, rivers, and waterways. It’s almost time for spring and summer boating season, but we want to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable time out on the water. Stay safe and avoid injury from a boating accident with these ten safe boating practices:

Watch the Weather

You need to stay off the water during thunderstorms and very windy days. Always check the weather in advance, but also take note of darkening clouds or increased wind speed. If it seems like bad weather is about to roll in, cut the fun short and come into shore.

Predeparture Check

Before you head out on the water, always check for safety and supplies. Make sure everyone is wearing a life vest and sunscreen, that you have enough fuel, and that all fishing rods or other equipment is safely positioned.

Boating License

Every Canadian boater using a motor-operated boat is required to have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). You are subject to a fine if you are caught boating without a license. Far more importantly, the course will teach you important safety tips. You can take the exam online with unlimited retries until you pass, so there’s no excuse.

Common Sense

A lot of safety is about understanding your surroundings and operating in a safe way. Just because your boat can reach hyperspeed doesn’t mean you should. Travel at safe speeds, act with caution in crowded areas, and be alert of everything around you. Follow area restrictions and markers which are in place to protect your safety.

Swimming Skills

Knowing how to swim can literally save your life. Take swimming lessons at your local community centre. Not only it is a valuable life skill, now you go for a dip to cool off on hot days or get some exercise to burn off those s’mores.

No Alcohol

We know many of you like to indulge when relaxing out at the cottage. However, alcohol and boating don’t mix. It is a criminal offense to operate a boat while inebriated. If you do bring alcohol on board, it can only be consumed while the boat is moored and only if your boat has permanent living facilities (kitchen, bedroom, toilet), which your bass boat probably doesn’t have.

Boating Course

If you want to familiarize yourself more with the ways of the water, consider taking a boating course. Whether you are a first-time boater or just want to refresh yourself on boating safety, it’s never a bad idea.

In the unfortunate event that you suffer a personal injury as a result of a boating accident, contact Ontario Injury Lawyers now to find out if you can bring a claim for losses.