Just as it is important to know the Rules of the Road, it is vital to know the Rules and Regulations on the Water. As summer begins and we all rush out to enjoy the beauty of Georgian Bay, please take the time to ensure that you are well prepared. You must have the right safety equipment on board. If something goes wrong on the water, you will be much better prepared to deal with it. Take the time to review each of your boats to ensure they are safely equipped! All safety equipment on board must be:

  • in good working order
  • easy to reach in case of an emergency
  • maintained and replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations

 Your required equipment list:

  • Lifejackets for each person on board. The best protection you can give yourself is to wear a life jacket. People figure they can just grab their lifejacket and put it on in the water. Truth is, such a maneuver is difficult enough to accomplish in calm and warm water but in cold water, it is nearly impossible. Check all your lifejackets for buoyancy at the beginning of each season. Your lifejacket should fit snugly without being too tight. The term the Coast Guard uses is “comfortably snug”. 
  • 15 metres of buoyant rope
  • paddles
  • one anchor
  • one bilge pump
  • one sound signaling device
  • fire extinguisher
  • first aid kit (optional)
  • A valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card is required on hand at all times. A photocopy is not appropriate. The fine for not having the card onboard is $305.00. Just like your driver’s license – don’t leave home without it.
  • Boats 6 metres (19.7 feet) in length or less require EITHER a waterproof working flashlight OR 3 type A, B, or C Canadian approved flares.
  • Boats over 6 metres (19.7 feet) in length require a watertight working flashlight AND 6 type A, B or C Canadian approved flares. 

Boating accidents can happen. Being prepared ahead of time will help everyone maintain calm. While most boating accidents occur during the warmer months, a HIGHER PERCENTAGE is fatal during the cold weather months because survival rates drop drastically with the combination of cold air and frigid water temperatures.
Good idea to pack lightweight, easy-to-stow emergency thermal blankets. Did You Know ...You must have your Boating Licence on board at all times?  I suggest taking photocopies of your Boat Licence and keep a copy in every boat. For more details visit the Government of Canada Mandatory Safety Equipment List or the Safe Boating Guide (pages 15-18)