Safe Boating Guide http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm
TP 511E ( Jan 2011 )
boating guide 2011 TP511E
Office of Boating Safety
Subscribe to the OBS Electronic Mailing List by visiting
Please direct your comments and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous Edition: 220,000 copies (12/2009)
Printed in Canada Please direct your orders to: The Order Desk MultiMedia
Products and Services Transport Canada (AARA-MPS)2655
Lancaster Road Ottawa ON K1B 4L5
Phone: 1-888-830-4911 (in North America)
613-991-4071 (other countries)
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister
of Transport, 1956 All rights reserved
No part of this information (publication or product) may be reproduced,
or transmited in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system,
without prior written permission from the minister of public works and
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0S5 (or copyright. email@example.com).
Printed on Forest Stewardship Council-compliant paper.
To learn more, visit http://www.fsccanada.org
Safe Boating Guide 2011 ISBN: 978-1-100-17181-4
Catalogue No. T34-24/2011E TP 511E (01/2011)
TC-1004217 contents introductIon
ctrl + f = ref #
What is a Pleasure Craft 1
to Boating Laws 2
GettIng started 3
Construction Requirements for Pleasure Craft 4
Compliance Notices 4
Hull Serial Number 4
Buying a Boat 5
Building a Boat 6
Pleasure Craft Licences 6
Vessel Registration 7
Who Needs Proof of Competency? 8
What are the Accepted forms of Proof of Competency? 8
Why Proof of Competency? 8
If you dont have a proof of competency, get it 9
Proof of competency and renting a boat 9
Carry your documents 9
Youth must follow age and horsepower restrictions 10
Replacing a lost Pleasure Craft Operator Card 10 - Before you go 1 - Inspect
Your Boat 1
Monitor the weather 12
Make and file a sail plan 1
Carry and Use Nautical Charts and Publications 1
Plan to avoid local hazards 1
Safe fuelling 15
Carbon monoxide awareness 1
Fuel-Burning appliances 1
Ignition protection 18
Loading your boat 18
Pleasure Craft courtesy check program 19
Dont cruise with booze 19
Pre-Departure checklist 20
Minimum safety equipment requirements 22
Alternative requirements for boats involved in competition 30
Operating a personal watercraft 31
Fishing and Hunting 32
Personal life saving appliances 32
Vessel safety equipment 37
Visual signals 38
Navigation equipment 39
Fire-Fighting equipment 45
Suggested items 46
on the water 47
Rules of the Road and safety on the water 48
Small Vessel and facility security awareness 53
How you can help 56
Respect and protect Canadas waterways 58
Vessel Operation Restrictions 61
In an emergency 63
Emergency communications 64
Reacting to an emergency 66
Enforcement on the water 70
Boating laws and regulations 70
Visitors to Canada 72
Quick reference cards 74
Contact information 79
Marine and Air - Search and Rescue Emergency
Telephone numbers 80
Website links 81
Welcome to the Safe Boating Guide.
It has been written to promote safe and responsible boating practices
among Canadas pleasure craft users.
If you remember one thing found between these covers, it should be to
always wear your lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when on
or near the water.
It could save your life!
While this guide does offer a basic overview of boating safety, it should
not be your only source of information.
No matter your age or experience, you should take a boating safety course.
Visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm or contact
us for a complete list of Transport Canada accredited course providers.
You will find contact information for Transport Canada and other organizations
at the end of this guide.
This is not a study guide for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card course
To buy a training manual for the test, contact an accredited course provider.
What is a Pleasure Craft?
Changes to Boating Laws
What is a Pleasure Craft? A pleasure craft is any boat that is used only
for pleasure activities like fishing, water sports and entertaining friends.
It also includes a boat used for subsistence hunting and fishing or for
the necessities of daily life.
It does not include a boat that is used for work or commercial activities.
The rules for non-pleasure craft are different from those for pleasure
craft so it is important to know the difference.
You must meet the requirements for non-pleasure craft any time you use
your pleasure craft for non-pleasure activities.
If you want to know how to operate a passenger vessel, workboat, commercial
fishing vessel or any other non-pleasure craft, visit www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety
or contact your local Transport Canada Centre.
When you see the word boat in this guide, it means pleasure craft.
Changes to Boating Laws Because boating laws change, you need to make
sure you know the laws that are now in force.
This guide is based on the Small Vessel Regulations that came into force
in May 2010.
Since this guide is revised from time to time, be sure you have the most
If the Safe Boating Guide differs from the regulations, always follow
the regulatory text.
You can find it online at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
When you see the word vessel, it refers to all boats, both pleasure craft
and non-pleasure craft.
In the same way, the word lifejacket includes lifejackets and personal
flotation devices (PFDs) everywhere in this guide, except in those sections
that describe the differences between lifejackets and PFDs.
Regulations set a minimum safety standard.
They are made to improve boating safety, so following them or an even
higher standard will help make every trip a safe one.
Do you want to start boating but youre not sure what you need to
do to get a boat ready for Canadas waterways?
This section will guide you through getting your boat out on the water
for the first time and explain how to make sure that you are ready to
operate it safely.
Construction Requirements for Pleasure Craft
Hull Serial Number
Buying a Boat
Building a Boat
Pleasure Craft Licences
Who Needs Proof of Competency?
What are the Accepted Forms of Proof of Competency?
Why Proof of Competency?
If You Dont Have Proof of Competency Get It!
Proof of Competency and Renting a Boat
Carry Your Documents!
Youth Must Follow Age and Horsepower Restrictions
Replacing a Lost Pleasure Craft Operator Card 23
Construction requirements for pleasure Craft or as close to that area
Example: ABC2AB41G203 The HIN is 12 digits long, beginning MIC: ABC; Hull
Part 7 of the Small Vessel Regulations and Transport Canadas Construction
Standards for Small Vessels specify how small vessels, that are equipped
or designed to be equipped with a motor (including pleasure craft up to
24 m or 789) and operate in Canada must be built.
If you are selling, importing, building, rebuilding or operating such
a vessel in Canada, you must make sure it meets these construction requirements.
Compliance notices Compliance Notices are the manufacturers or importers
confirmation that the vessel is built in accordance with the construction
requirements of the Small Vessel Regulations.
Before attaching a Compliance Notice to a vessel, a manufacturer or importer
must produce a Declaration of Conformity for the vessel.
The Small Vessel Regulations require, with a few exceptions, that all
pleasure craft of less than 24 metres, that are or can be fitted with
a motor have a Compliance Notice affixed to them in a location visible
from the helm.
Although it is not prohibited to have other types of compliance notices
affixed to the vessel, this does not.
Hull Serial number,
All pleasure craft made in Canada, or imported into Canada after August
1, 1981 (with or without a motor), must
have a Hull Serial Number (HIN). No character of the HIN is to be less
than 6 mm (¼") in height and width.
The Pleasure craft over 24 m (789") must be built or rebuilt
according to recommended practices and standards appropriate for that
type of vessel and that are published by a marine classification society,
standards development organization, government agency, or industrial or
trade association. replace the requirement to have a Canadian Compliance
Compliance notices for pleasure craft up to 6 m (198") also
have information on recommended maximum safe limits.
These recommended maximum safe limits will tell you: what outboard motor
sizes are safe;
how many people can be on board; and how much weight the boat can hold.
Remember that this information applies only in good weather.
The number of people who can be carried safely depends on the type of
boat, where people and equipment are carried, and weather and water conditions.
Operators must know and respect their boats limits.
HIN helps to find lost or stolen boats and boats that are subject to a
The HIN must be permanently marked on the outside upper starboard (right
side) corner of the transom (the boats rear, flat end above the
A Canadian Compliance Notice indicates that the boat met the construction
requirements at the time it was built, so changes to the boat over time
may mean that the Compliance Notice is no longer valid. Once you own the
boat, you must make sure that it is up to standard when you operate it
on the water so get all the facts before you buy.
If you are buying a boat from another country, please remember that:
with the Manufacturers Identification
Code (MIC). Buying a Boat
If you are buying a new boat in Canada, make sure it has a Hull Serial
Number (HIN). If the boat has a motor or is designed to have one, make
sure it also has a Canadian Compliance Notice.
Manufacturers and importers must place a HIN and Canadian Compliance Notice
on every boat that is or can be fitted with a motor that they sell in
Canada after demonstrating that it meets the Canadian construction requirements.
If you see a new boat for sale that does not have the required HIN and
Canadian Compliance Notice, Construction requirements for pleasure craft
differ from country to country. Make sure that the boat meets the construction
requirements of the Small Vessel Regulations or that you can modify the
boat to meet these requirements before you operate it. An imported boat
must meet the construction requirements that are in force on the day it
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will ask you for specific documents,
as well as information Construction Start Date: G2; Model Year: 03.
ask the seller to get them for you before you buy. If you are thinking
about buying a used boat, the first thing you should do is make sure that
it meets the construction requirements that were in force when it was
built. A good way to do this is to hire a competent marine surveyor to
examine the boat, who will give you a fair opinion on the boats
current condition and will let you know what changes (if any) need to
be made to bring the boat up to standard.
On the boat and the seller to confirm the sale and assess the duties and
taxes on the boat. Before buying the boat, visit the CBSA online at www.cbsa.gc.ca
or contact them to find out what you will need from the seller to bring
the boat to Canada.
If you will be towing the boat on a trailer, you should know that a trailer
is considered a motor vehicle, with requirements that are different from
those that apply to your boat. Contact the CBSA to learn more.
If you are buying a trailer, contact your provincial or territorial transportation
office to learn about any requirements that may apply.
For a complete list of these offices,
visit www.tc.gc.ca.Building a Boat
If you decide to build or rebuild a pleasure craft, it must meet or exceed
the construction requirements of the Small Vessel Regulations and the
Construction Standards for Small Vessels (TP 1332E).
If the boat will be for your own personal use, you will not be required
to attach a Compliance Notice. However, if you are building the boat to
sell it, you must apply to pleasure Craft Licences A pleasure craft licence
is a document containing a unique licence number for a pleasure craft.
The pleasure craft licence number must be displayed on both sides of the
You can get a free licence that is valid for 10 years by applying to Transport
Application forms are available online at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm
or for pickup at your local Service Canada Centre.
For Service Canada locations, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca
If your boat is already licensed, make sure that it is in your name and
that your contact information is up to date.
To learn more about getting or transferring a pleasure craft licence,
visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm or call
the Boating Safety Info Line at 1-800-267-6687.
Since there may be export requirements in the country where you plan to
buy the boat (and the trailer if you are buying one), contact the appropriate
authorities in that country well in advance to find out what they are.
Transport Canada for a Manufacturers Identification Code (MIC),
produce a declaration of conformity, and place a compliance notice and
a HIN on the boat before you sell it.
To get a copy of the Small Vessel Regulations and Transport Canadas
Construction Standards for Small Vessels (TP 1332E), visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm
or contact us.
If your boat is mostly operated or kept in Canada and is powered by one
or more motors adding up to 7.5 kW (10 hp) or more, it must be licensed,
unless it is registered.
You will also need to license dinghies or tenders you carry aboard or
tow behind a larger boat.
You must keep a copy of the licence on board.You must display your pleasure
craft licence number above the waterline on both sides of the bow, as
far forward as practical, and where it is easy to see.
The numbers must be in block letters, at least 7.5 cm (3") high,
and must contrast with the colour of the background.
If your boat does not need a pleasure craft licence, you can choose to
get one for safety reasons.
The Pleasure Craft Licensing System allows Search and Rescue personnel
to access information 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the event of
This could mean the difference between life and death! Remember:
A pleasure craft licence does not prove ownership and Vessel registrationAlthough
you are no longer required to register pleasure craft over 15 gross tons,
you can still choose to do so.
Although there are costs involved, registration gives you some important
benefits, which include: proof of ownership (legal title) for your boat;
the right to fly the Canadian flag;
a unique name and official number for your boat; and Transport Canada
cannot confirm ownership of a licensed pleasure craft.
When entering another country, be sure to have proof of ownership for
your boat along with its pleasure craft licence, especially for dinghies
or tenders aboard or towed behind a larger boat.
Not having the proper documents on board can result in delays or trouble
clearing customs, or even a fine. the right to use your boat as security
for a marine mortgage.
Since proof of ownership can be very important at international borders,
it is a good idea to register any boat you plan to operate outside of
To learn more about registering your boat,
visit Transport Canadas Vessel Registration Office online at www.tc.gc.ca
or contact them.
Who needs proof of Competency? If You dont have proof of Competency
Anyone who operates a motorized vessel, this includes all types of motorized
pleasure craft must now carry proof boats, no matter their size of competency
on board, 1 or horsepower. What are the accepted Forms of proof of Competency?
Proof of competency can be any of the following: - a Pleasure Craft Operator
Card (PCOC), this is the most common proof, obtained after passing an
accredited boating safety test;
- proof of having passed a boating safety course in Canada before April
1, 1999; Why proof of Competency?
A proof of competency shows that the boater has a basic level of boating
safety knowledge needed for safe recreational boating. In the past, anyone
of any age could operate a recreational boat without any basic boating
safety knowledge, experience - a specified marine certificate
- visit our website (http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm)
for the approved list; or
- a completed rental boat safety checklist (good only for rental period).
or training. Proof of competency requirements were introduced in 1999
in response to boating deaths and injuries, with the goal of improving
safety on Canadian waterways through education and training. If you dont
have proof of competency and you plan to operate a motorized pleasure
craft, you must obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card by passing an accredited
2. Transport Canada recommends taking a boating safety course as the best
way to prepare for the test. Taking a course, while not required, is a
small investment that has a big payoff: it will help you to be more aware
of safe boating practices, prevention measures, and practical ways to
reduce risks. The course itself covers a full range of basic boating information
- the minimum safety equipment required on board your boat;
- the Canadian buoyage system;
- how to share waterways;
- a review of all pertinent regulations; and how to respond in an emergency
There are other options, too, such as home study, online courses and tests,
and challenge testing. Boating safety course and test services are available
only through accredited private-sector course providers (a list of accredited
providers appears on our website at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm).
Carry Your documents!
Proof of competency and renting a Boat;
If you plan on renting a boat and you dont already have proof of
competency (such as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or specified marine
certificate), then you may complete the rental boat safety checklist as
proof of competency.
The rental agency provides you with a basic safety orientation to the
boat, its equipment and features, and information about any hazards in
the local waterways. A rental boat safety checklist (provided by the rental
agency) is used as a reference for this orientation, which both parties
(rental agency and the boat operator) sign. The boat operator carries
the completed rental boat safety checklist on board and it serves as proof
of competency for the rental period only. Getting started
1 Proof of competency is not required in the waters of the Northwest Territories
Make sure you have your proof of competency with you before you head out
on the water. Youll also need to carry your personal identification,
such as a photo ID. If your motor is 7.5 kW (10 hp) or more, you will
also need to carry the Pleasure Craft Licence on board.
2 If you plan to only operate a boat that you have rented, you may complete
a rental boat safety
checklist; we describe this option in the next section. Boating is fun,
but nearly 150 people die and many more get seriously hurt every year
in boating incidents. Boating deaths and injuries can be avoided.
This section will help you get your boat, your guests and yourself prepared
before heading out on the water.
Age Horsepower restrictions;
Under 12 years of age with no direct supervision may operate a boat with
up to 7.5 kW (10 hp)
Ages 12 to under 16 with no direct supervision May operate a boat with
up to 30 kW (40 hp)
Under 16 years of age, regardless of supervision May not operate a PWC
16 years of age or older No horsepower restrictions,Replacing a lost pleasure
Craft operator Card
The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is good for life. Remember to make a
photocopy of your card as soon as you get it so you can have it replaced
if you lose it. To replace a lost card, contact the course provider that
issued it to request a replacement card.
There is often a cost for this service. For a complete list of course
providers, visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
If you cant remember the name of the course provider that issued
your card, ask yourself the following:
- Did I take the test with a family member or friend? If yes, check with
that person. The name of the course provider will be on his or her card.
- Did I keep a copy of my receipt or the letter that came in the mail
with my card attached to it? If yes, you will find the course providers
name on both of these documents.
- Still cant remember? Or cant find the course providers
name on our list? Contact the Office of Boating Safety nearest you for
assistance (see page 79 of this guide).
Youth under 16 years of age may not operate boats with motors over certain
horsepower limits unless someone 16 years of age or older is in the boat
and directly supervising them.
Youth under 16 years of age may not
operate a personal watercraft (PWC)(Powercraft) under any circumstances.
Are you old enough to operate a motorized boat?
Youth must Follow age and horsepower restrictions
These restrictions are separate from the requirement for proof of competency
and both must be followed. This means that youth under 16 years of age
require proof of competency to operate any motorized boat, supervised
or not. Getting started
BeFore You Go
Inspect Your Boat
Monitor the Weather
Make and File a Sail Plan
Carry and Use Nautical Charts and Publications
Plan to Avoid Local Hazards
Carbon Monoxide Awareness
Loading Your Boat
Pleasure Craft Courtesy Check Program
Dont Cruise with Booze
BeFore You Go
Inspect Your Boat It is better to take a few minutes to make sure you
are ready to boat safely before you leave than to risk problems when you
are out on the water. More than half of all calls for help are from boaters
in trouble because of motor problems, including many boats that are stranded
because they ran out of fuel! Operating a boat that you know is not seaworthy
is against the law. Your boat, its engine and all equipment must be kept
in good working order. Whether Monitor the Weather
Weather and water conditions play a big role in your safety on the water.
Before heading out, make sure you get the latest forecast for your area
and that you understand what it means. You should also be aware of local
factors (like topography) that may cause weather conditions to differ
from the forecast. The best source for this information is people who
know the area well.
Summer thunderstorms can strike quickly and without warning so while youre
out, remember to keep your eye on the sky.
If it starts to look dark and cloudy, and conditions are changing quickly,
head for shore. Remember to check your up-to-date nautical charts in advance
so that youll know where to seek shelter. if you own, rent or are
borrowing a boat, use the Pre-Departure Checklist to make sure you are
ready before leaving (see page 20 of this guide). Make sure you explain
safe operation to everyone on board before heading out.
Tell your guests where the safety equipment is kept and how to use it.
Make sure that at least one other person on board knows how to operate
the boat in case something happens to you. Environment Canada provides
marine forecasts in many ways. If you have a marine radio, you can get
weather updates while youre on the water.
These forecasts provide information on wind speed and direction, weather,
visibility and freezing spray (if applicable). Forecasts are issued several
times a day. Some forecasts discuss current conditions while others discuss
the conditions to expect over several days. When high wind speeds are
Environment Canada will issue a wind warning in the marine forecast: -
Strong Wind Warning (20 to 33 knots) (37 to 61 km/h)
- Gale Warning (34 to 47 knots) (62 to 87 km/h)
- Storm Warning (48 to 63 knots) (88 to 117 km/h)
- Hurricane Force Wind Warning (64 knots or more) (118 km/h or more) (This
warning does not mean that a hurricane is expected or is taking place.)
make and File a Sail plan A sail plan includes your planned travel route
and describes your boat. Sail plans are also called trip or float plans.
No matter what you call them, you should file one before heading out even
if it is just for an hour or two. File your sail plan with someone you
trust and tell them to contact a Rescue Coordination Centre if you are
Their telephone numbers are listed at the back of this guide. One knot
is one nautical mile an hour or 1.852 km/h. Marine weather forecasts are
available 24 hours a day in some areas through Environment Canadas
Weatheradio service on the VHF-FM radio band. To get these forecasts,
you need a Weatheradio receiver or a VHF marine radio.
For more details, visit www.msc-smc.ec.gc. ca/msb/weatheradio
You can also get continuous forecasts from the Canadian Coast Guard on
marine VHF weather channels.
For a complete list of Environment Canada weather services across Canada,
visit www.weatheroffice.gc.ca or contact them.
If you are taking a long trip, you should file a daily position report
(especially if your planned route has changed).
Be sure to let people know when you have returned or safely arrived at
your next stop.
If you dont, people may worry and launch a search, which can waste
Search and Rescue resources.
This guide includes a sail plan you can photocopy and use (see page 74
of this guide).
Carry and use official nautical charts and publications plan to avoid
An open body of water may seem inviting, but remember that there are no
clearly marked traffic lanes on the water.
This, as well as the absence of signs that clearly tell us where we are,
can make navigation difficult.
To help make navigation safer, you must carry the following for each area
you plan to boat in:
- the latest edition of the largest officially produced chart available;
and the latest edition of related documents and publications, including
notices to mariners, sailing directions, tide and current tables, and
the list of lights, buoys and fog signals.
If you are operating a boat under 100 gross tons, you do not have to carry
these charts, documents and publications on board as long as you know:
- the location and type of charted:
- shipping routes;
- lights, buoys and marks;
- boating hazards; and
- the areas usual boating conditions, such as tides, currents, ice
and weather patterns. Before heading out, you should make sure you know:
- how to plot a course;
- how to determine your position; and
- how to use:
- a compass along with nautical charts;
- electronic navigation equipment; and
- references such as tide tables, Canadas buoyage system, navigation
lights and signals, Notices to Mariners and Sailing Directions.
Avoid potential danger by steering clear of rapids and currents, and be
sure not to obstruct commercial navigation in commercial shipping channels.
The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) is the official source for navigational
publications, raster BSBs and vector Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs)
in Canadas waters.
Under the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations made pursuant to
the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, boaters must use charts issued officially
or on the authority of the CHS. You can buy official paper and digital
charts from authorized chart dealers.
For more information or to find the nearest authorized chart dealer, visit
www.charts.gc.ca or contact the CHS at 1-866-546-3613 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being prepared means more than having your boat and equipment in good
You should also:
- check nautical charts for overhead obstacles, bridges and underwater
cables in your boating area;
- read nautical charts with publications like Sailing Directions
- looking at tide tables and current atlases will also help you learn
about water levels, times of low, slack and high tides, and the direction
of water flow; Safe Fuelling
Leaking or spilled fuel not only harms the marine environment but is also
a fire hazard.
Follow these steps when fuelling; its the safe thing to do and its
. Moor your boat securely to prevent spills.
. Shut off all engines.
. Send guests ashore.
. Put out all open flames.
. Do not smoke.
. Turn off electrical switches and power supplies.
. Do not use electrical devices such as portable radios.
. Close all windows, portholes, hatches and cabin doors.
. Remove portable tanks from the vessel before refuelling.
. Ground the nozzle against the filler pipe.
. Know how much fuel your tank can hold and do not overfill it, you have
a duty to prevent fuel leaks and spills into your boats hull and
. Wipe up spills and dispose of the used cloth or towel in an approved
. Run the engine compartment blower for at least four minutes immediately
before starting the gasoline engine.
. Check for vapours from the engine compartment before starting up the
engine.New environmental laws affecting diesel fuel mean that the type
of diesel available at the pump changes often.
Follow the safety instructions provided by fuel suppliers, as well as
your boats engine and system user manuals. Stay away from swimming
areas even canoes and kayaks can injure swimmers;
- avoid boating too close to shore; and talk to local residents who know
the waters if you are in an area that is not covered by nautical charts
they may be able to point out low-head dams, rapids and white water,
and describe local wind conditions, currents and areas of rapid high-wave
14 15 Carbon monoxide awareness
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas you cant see, smell or taste.
CO can come from anything that burns a carbon-based fuel (gasoline, propane,
charcoal, oil, etc.) so it can be created by engines, gas generators,
cooking ranges, heaters and the like. CO acts a lot like air.
It doesnt rise or fall but spreads evenly throughout an enclosed
space. (CO) comes in through your lungs and cuts off the oxygen supply
to your body, causing death in minutes. Be alert! Symptoms include headaches,
nausea and fatigue but you might think you are just seasick or have the
flu. Here are some tips to help protect yourself and others from CO poisoning.
- Idle your engine only in well ventilated areas. A tail wind can easily
carry CO back on board.
- Heat the cabin or cook only when in a well-ventilated area.
- Make sure that cabin extensions and areas fitted with canvas tops are
- Use only fuel-burning engines or appliances that are certified or designed
for marine use and make sure they are used only in well-ventilated areas.
- Use a marine-grade CO detector and check its batteries before every
- Be aware that CO can build up when:
- two vessels are tied to each other;
- you are docked alongside a seawall;
- your load causes the bow to ride high; or a fuel-burning appliance or
engine is running while your vessel is not moving.Fuel-Burning appliances
Gas vapours and leaking propane and butane are heavier than air and will
quickly flow into the lower parts of your boat. They are very hard to
remove and are highly explosive.
On board appliances that run on propane or butane may present more risk
than gasoline.Here are some tips for using propane and butane safely.
- Appliances and systems should be designed for marine use and be installed
in accordance with a marine standard and the manufacturers instructions.
- Ask a qualified technician to perform installation, maintenance or repairs.
- Use a fuel-burning appliance only when in a well-ventilated area.
- Secure portable appliances and heaters so that unexpected movement doesnt
cause a leak.
- Secure gas cylinders and tanks in an area with good ventilation.
- Always attend to an open flame heating, cooking or refrigeration system.
CO is not just a risk to boaters. You, too, can be overcome by breathing
CO and drown in just minutes! Areas of high risk are under swim platforms
and between the pontoons of houseboats.Typical ventilation system:
Typical propane installation with ventilation:
Warning to Swimmers:
Ignition protection pleasure Craft Courtesy Check program
Every boat that has a gasoline engine or uses propane devices must have
ignition-protected electrical devices.
These parts are designed and made so that, under normal conditions, they
will not ignite gasoline or propane fumes or vapour. This protection prevents
sparks from escaping during use. Only use electrical components that are
clearly labelled as ignition protected. Many older boats, and even some
new ones, have been fitted with converted car or truck engines. If you
are not sure that your engine has ignition-protected parts in it, have
it serviced by a certified marine technician. He or she can tell you if
a replacement part (or related work done to the engine) has put the engines
ignition protection, and you, at risk.Loading Your Boat;
Overloading your boat with people, equipment or both is dangerous. Your
boats safety on the water depends on how much you put on the boat
and where you put it. Too much weight will make your boat unstable and
allow small waves to come on board. It will also reduce the amount your
boat can roll before its sides dip under water. The higher the weight
carried on board, the more your boat is likely to roll, making it harder
for it to stabilize. As the boat operator, you should follow the recommended
maximum safe limits on the Transport Canada Compliance Notice. But remember,
these limits apply only in good weather and they assume the weight is
evenly distributed on board, so you should use your judgment when conditions
are less than perfect. Keep the load as low as possible and secure equipment
to keep it from shifting and making your boat unstable.If your boat is
over 6 m (198"), its Compliance Notice will not have any recommended
However, these boats can also become unstable if overloaded. You should
refer to your boats manufacturer for guidance and use your judgment
when loading and operating the boat. Transport Canada works with boating
safety organizations like the Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons (CPS)
to offer free courtesy checks for pleasure craft. Check the CPS website
(www.cps-ecp.ca/public.asp)to learn about the Recreational Vessel Courtesy
Check Program. If you agree to have a check done, a trained boating safety
volunteer will board your boat, while alongside a dock or at a boat ramp,
to: - check out the safety equipment and other requirements;
Identify any problems; and discuss general boating safety issues.
Education and prevention are the keys to this program. Since there are
never any penalties involved, its a great opportunity to learn more
about boating safety and make sure that you are ready to head out on the
water. The knowledge you gain from a courtesy check will help you to stay
safe on the water year after year. Dont Cruise with Booze;
Mixing alcohol and boating is far more dangerous than you may think. Under
normal conditions, sun, wind, the motion of the boat and even just being
tired can dull your senses. Alcohol makes things even worse, slowing your
hand-eye coordination and clouding your good judgment. Dont cruise
with booze! You might harm yourself or others. You are responsible for
the safety of your guests and for not putting other waterway users in
danger. You must always be prepared and alert. Drinking and driving (whether
on land or water) is against the law and the consequences, even for a
first offence, can last a lifetime. Provinces and territories have their
own rules on legal alcohol limits when you can drink and how alcohol can
be carried on board. Contact your local law enforcement authorities for
Note: The Recreational Vessel Courtesy Check Program is an educational
program being delivered on behalf of Transport Canada. The term "on
board" means only that the equipment was on board at the time of
check. Transport Canada does not warrant the condition of the vessel or
any of the equipment on board. Responsibility for meeting all regulations,
and for the safety of the vessel and related equipment lies solely with
the vessel owner/operator.
Having the right equipment on board can save your life. If something goes
wrong on the water, youll be much better prepared to deal with it
if you have the right equipment on board, if its in good working
order and if everyone can find it and use it. Remember, the best protection
you can give yourself on the water is to wear your lifejacket!
This section starts off by listing the minimum safety equipment that is
required on your boat, followed by some extra advice for specific activities.
Finally, it offers more information on the equipment you need and how
to use it.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected, Check This List Before Every Trip ..Lifejackets,
- Carry a Canadian-approved lifejacket for everyone on board.
- Make sure the lifejackets are in good condition (check the zippers,
buckles, fabric, seams, etc.).
- Check that they are properly sized to fit each person on board. ..Operator
Competency, Are You Ready to Head out on the Water?
- Take a boating safety course.
- Keep your Pleasure Craft Operator Card or other proof of competency
on board. ..Weather, Check and Monitor the Marine Weather
Forecast Sail Plan, File Your Plan Before Heading Out
- See page 74 of this guide for a sample sail plan.
- Tell a person you trust where you are going and when you will be back.
..Safety Equipment, Required by Law and Essential for Safety
- See page 22 of this guide for the equipment required for your boat.
- Make sure all equipment is on board, in good working order and easy
- Carry a first aid kit, basic tools and spare parts. ..Charts, Compass
and Local Hazards, Know where you are at all times
- Make sure you are aware of all local hazards, water levels and tides.
..Fuel, Check Your Tank and Remember: 1/3 to go, 1/3 to return, 1/3 reserve
..Boat Condition, Should Your Boat Leave the Dock?
- Check the hull for cracks or other damage.
- Check the electrical, fuel, propulsion and cooling systems.
- Make sure the throttle and steering work well.
- Check the oil.
- Check all hoses and lines for leaks or cracks and replace if necessary.
- Make sure all clamps and belts are secure and in good shape.
- Inspect, clean and replace spark plugs if necessary.
- Check and change oil and water filters if needed.
- Check the batterys charge.
- Make sure the drainage plug is in place.
- Carry spare plugs for all through hull fittings.
- Make sure the load on your boat (gear and occupants) is well distributed.
- Run the blowers for four minutes before starting the engine(s), check
for airflow. ..Safety Briefing,
- You Are Legally Responsible for Your Guests
- Show everyone where the safety equipment is located and how to use it.
- Make sure the communication equipment works and that everyone can use
Minimum Safety Equipment requirements alternative requirements for
boats involved in competition operating a Personal Watercraft Kayaking
Fishing and hunting
Personal lifesaving appliances
Vessel Safety Equipment
If you want information on operating a vessel for work or commercial
activities (non-pleasure craft), visit www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety
or contact your local Transport canada centre.
These requirements do not apply to inflatable self-propelled water
toys because these toys are not designed for use in open water.
if you do choose to operate these toys in open water, they will
be treated as pleasure craft and subject to the same strict rules.
remember as well that operating a propeller driven surfboard is
against the law in canada. The following list of equipment is the
minimum that is required. you may want to bring more equipment based
on your type of boat, your water activity, and the current and forecast
weather and water conditions.
Boat type and length personal lifesaving appliances vessel safety
equipment (See Note 1, page 28) visual signals (See Note 2, page
28) navigation equipment fire-fighting equipment paddleboats, watercycles,
sealed-hull and sit-on-top Kayaks Equipment listed in 2, 3, 4, 5
and 6 is not required if everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket
1. one (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person on board 2. one
(1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (493") long 3.
one (1) reboarding device 4. one (1) bailer or manual bilge pump
or bilge-pumping arrangements if boat is over 6 meters. 5. one (1)
watertight flashlight 6. Six (6) flares of Type a, b or c 7. one
(1) sound-signalling device or appliance 8. **Navigation lights
9. ***one (1) magnetic compass 10. one (1) radar reflector
(See Note 3, p. 28)
canoes, kayaks, rowboats, rowing shells and other human-powered
boats 1. one (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person on board
2. one (1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (493")
long 3. *one (1) reboarding device 4. one (1) bailer or manual bilge
pump or bilge-pumping arrangements if boat is over 6 m: 5. one (1)
watertight flashlight 6. Six (6) flares of Type a, b or c 7. one
(1) sound-signalling device or appliance 8. **Navigation lights
9. ***one (1) magnetic compass 10.
one (1) radar reflector (See Note 3, p. 28) Minimum Safety equipment
requirements The safety equipment canada requires you to carry on
board is based on the type and length of your boat. it must be on
board, in good working order and always easy to reach so that it
can be used in an emergency. you can find the length of your boat
by reading the manufacturers product information or by measuring
it yourself (from the front outside surface of the hull shell to
the back outside surface of the hull shell, bow to stern).
remember that these requirements apply only to pleasure craft and
are the same whether you own, rent or borrow the boat. This includes
typical boats like power boats, sail boats and personal watercraft,
as well as less common boats like airboats, air cushion vehicles
(hovercraft) and wing-in-ground effect vessels that are used only
for recreation. These requirements also apply to kiteboards. remember:
all safety equipment must be canadian-approved and there must be
enough lifejackets that fit, have enough buoyancy and are in good
condition for everyone on board your boat. Minimum Safety Equipment
requirements by boat Type and length * only required if the vertical
height that must be climbed to reboard the boat from the water is
over 0.5 m (18"). ** only required if the boat is operated
after sunset, before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility
(fog, falling snow, etc.). *** Not required if the boat is 8 m
(263") or less and operated within sight of navigation marks.
boat type and length personal lifesaving appliances vessel safety
equipment (See Note 1, page 28)
visual signals (See Note 2, page 28)
navigation equipment fire-fighting equipment sailboards and Kiteboards
Equipment listed in 2, 3, 4 and 5 is not required if operator
is wearing a lifejacket or PFD.
lifejacket or PFD must NoT be fitted with an automatic inflator.
1. one (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person on board 2. one
(1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (493") long 3.
*one (1) reboarding device 4. one (1) manual propelling device
or one (1) anchor and at least 15 m (493") of cable,
rope or chain in any combination 5. one (1) bailer or manual
bilge pump 6. one (1) sound-signalling device or appliance 7. **Navigation
lights 8. ***one (1) magnetic compass 9. one (1) radar reflector
(See Note 3, p. 28)
personal watercraft (pwc) Equipment listed in 2, 3, 4, 5 and 11
is not required if everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket or
PFD. lifejacket or PFD must be inherently buoyant. 1. one (1) lifejacket
or PFD for each person on board 2. one (1) buoyant heaving
line at least 15 m (493) long 3. *one (1) reboarding
device 4. one (1) manual propelling device or one (1) anchor
and at least 15 m (493) of cable, rope or chain
in any combination 5. one (1) bailer or manual bilge pump
6. one (1) watertight flashlight or Three (3) flares of Type
a, b or c 7. one (1) sound-signalling device or appliance 8. **Navigation
lights 9. ***one (1) magnetic compass 10. one (1) radar reflector
(See Note 3, p. 28) 11. one (1) 5b: c fire extinguisher sail and
power boats up to 6 m (198) 1. one (1) lifejacket or
PFD for each person on board 2. one (1) buoyant heaving line
at least 15 m (493) long 3. *one (1) reboarding device
4. one (1) manual propelling device or one (1) anchor and at least
15 m (493) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
5. one (1) bailer or manual bilge pump if boat is equipped
with a motor: 6. one (1) watertight flashlight or Three (3)
flares of Type a, b or c 7. one (1) sound-signalling device or appliance
8. **Navigation lights 9. ***one (1) magnetic compass 10.one
(1) radar reflector (See Note 3, p. 28) 11.one (1) 5b: c fire
extinguisher if equipped with an inboard engine, a fixed fuel tank
of any size, or a fuel-burning cooking, heating or refrigerating
appliance sail and power boats over 6 m and up to 9 m (198
296) 1. one (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person
on board 2. one (1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (493)
long or one (1) lifebuoy attached to a buoyant line at least 15 m
(493) long 3. *one (1) reboarding device 4. one (1)
manual propelling device or one (1) anchor and at least
15 m (493) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
5. one (1) bailer or manual bilge pump 6. one (1) watertight flashlight
7. Six (6) flares of Type a, b or c 8. one (1) sound-signalling
device or appliance 9. **Navigation lights 10.***one (1) magnetic compass
11.one (1) radar reflector (See Note 3, p. 28) 12.one (1) 5b: c
fire extinguisher if equipped with a motor 13.one (1) 5b: c fire
extinguisher if equipped with a fuel-burning cooking, heating or
refrigerating appliance * only required if the vertical height that
must be climbed to reboard the boat from the water is over 0.5 m
(18). ** only required if the boat is operated after
sunset, before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility (fog,
falling snow, etc.). *** Not required if the boat is 8 m (263)
or less and operated within sight of navigation marks. equipment
24 25 boat type and length personal lifesaving appliances vessel
safety equipment (See Note 1, page 28) visual signals (See Note
2, page 28) navigation equipment fire-fighting equipment sail and
power boats over 9 m and up to 12 m (296
394) 1. one (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person on board
2. one (1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (493)
long 3. one (1) lifebuoy attached to a buoyant line at least 15
m (493) long 4. *one (1) reboarding device 5. one (1)
anchor and at least 30 m (985) of cable, rope or chain
in any combination 6. one (1) manual bilge pump or bilge-pumping
arrangements 7. one (1) watertight flashlight 8. Twelve (12)
flares of Type a, b, c or D, not more than six (6) of which
are of Type D 9. one (1) sound-signalling device or appliance 10.Navigation
lights 11.one (1) magnetic compass 12.one (1) radar reflector
(See Note 3, p. 28) 13.one (1) 10b: c fire extinguisher if equipped
with a motor 14.one (1) 10b: c fire extinguisher if equipped with
a fuel-burning cooking, heating or refrigerating appliance sail
and power boats over 12 m and up to 24 m (394
789) 1. one (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person on board
2. one (1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (493)
long 3. one (1) lifebuoy equipped with a self-igniting light or
attached to a buoyant line at least 15 m (493) long
4. *one (1) reboarding device 5. one (1) anchor and at least 50
m (1641) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
6. bilge-pumping arrangements 7. one (1) watertight flashlight
8. Twelve (12) flares of Type a, b, c or D, not more than six (6)
of which are of Type D 9. one (1) sound- signalling appliance Two
(2) required if the boat is 20 m and over that meets the applicable
standards set out in the collision regulations 10.Navigation lights
11.one (1) magnetic compass that meets the requirements set out
in the Navigation Safety regulations 12.one (1) radar reflector
(See Note 3, p.28) 13.review all the fire extinguishers at all of
the following locations: at each access to any space where
a fuel- burning cooking, heating or refrigerating appliance is fitted;
at the entrance to any accommodation space; and at
the entrance to the machinery space. 14.one (1) axe 15.Two (2) buckets
of at least 10 l each * only required if the vertical height that
must be climbed to reboard the boat from the water is over 0.5 m
(18). ** only required if the boat is operated after
sunset, before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility (fog,
falling snow, etc.). *** Not required if the boat is 8 m (263)
or less and operated within sight of navigation marks. equipment
26 27 boat type and length personal lifesaving appliances vessel
safety equipment (See Note 1, page 28) visual signals (See Note
2, page 28) navigation equipment fire-fighting equipment sail and
power boats over 24 m (789) 1. one (1) lifejacket
or PFD for each person on board 2. one (1) buoyant heaving
line at least 30 m (985) long 3. Two (2) SolaS
lifebuoys, of which: one (1) is attached to a buoyant line
at least 30 m (985) long; and one (1) is equipped
with a self-igniting light 4. lifting harness with appropriate rigging
5. *one (1) reboarding device 6. one (1) anchor and at least 50
m (1641) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
7. bilge-pumping arrangements 8. one (1) watertight flashlight
9. Twelve (12) flares of Type a, b, c or D, not more than six (6)
of which are of Type D 10.Two (2) sound-signalling appliances that
meet the applicable standards set out in the collision regulations
11.Navigation lights 12.one (1) magnetic compass that meets the
requirements set out in the Navigation Safety regulations 14.one
(1) 10b: c fire extinguisher at all of the following locations:
at each access to any space where a fuel- burning cooking,
heating or refrigerating appliance is fitted; at the entrance
to any accommodation space; and at the entrance to the machinery
space 15.one (1) power-driven fire pump located outside the machinery
space, with one fire hose and nozzle that can direct water into
any part of the boat 16.Two (2) axes 17.Four (4) buckets of at least
10 l each Note 1 Exception for bailers and Manual bilge Pumps
a bailer or manual bilge pump is not required for a boat that cannot
hold enough water to make it capsize or a boat that has watertight
compartments that are sealed and not readily accessible.
Note 2 Exception for Flares Flares are not required for a
boat that: is operating on a river, canal or lake in which
it can never be more than one (1) nautical mile (1.852 km) from
shore; or has no sleeping quarters and is engaged in an official
competition or in final preparation for an official competition.
Note 3 radar reflectors radar reflectors are required for
boats under 20 m (657) and boats that are built of mostly
non-metallic materials. a radar reflector is not required if:
the boat operates in limited traffic conditions, daylight and favourable
environmental conditions, and where having a radar reflector is
not essential to the boats safety; or the small size
of the boat or its operation away from radar navigation makes having
a radar reflector impractical. * only required if the vertical height
that must be climbed to reboard the boat from the water is over
0.5 m (18). ** only required if the boat is operated
after sunset, before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility
(fog, falling snow, etc.). *** Not required if the boat is 8 m
(263) or less and operated within sight of navigation marks.
Disclaimer: boating laws change from time to time, so make sure
you have the most current information. if the Safe boating guide
differs from the regulations, remember that it is always the current
regulatory text that applies. equipment 28 29 alternative requirements
for boats involved in competition is your boat used for racing?
you may be allowed to carry alternative safety equipment when engaged
in formal training, in an official competition or in final preparation
for an official competition. equipment Formal training means practice
for an official competition under the supervision of a coach or
official certified by a governing body. official competition means
a competition or regatta organized by a governing body or by a club
or an organization that is affiliated with a governing body. Final
preparation for an official competition means activities to prepare
for the competitions that take place at the competition venue and
during the times specified by the event organizer. governing body
means a national water sport governing body that publishes rules
and criteria respecting conduct and safety requirements for skill
demonstrations, formal training or official competitions and that:
certifies coaches and coaching programs; certifies
officials and programs for officials; or recommends training
and safety guidelines for certified coaches or officials.
Safety craft means a vessel, aircraft or other means of transport
with a crew on board that is used for watch and rescue during formal
training, final preparation or official competitions. racing canoes,
racing kayaks and rowing shells do not have to carry the equipment
listed in this guide if they (and their crews) are engaged in formal
training, in an official competition or in final preparation for
an official competition and: are attended by a safety craft
that, in addition to its own safety equipment, carries a lifejacket
that fits for each crew member of the racing boat with the biggest
crew; or if they carry: a lifejacket that fits for each crew
member; a sound-signalling device; and a watertight
flashlight if operated after sunset, before sunrise or in periods
of poor visibility. in addition to the alternatives outlined above,
rowing shells do not have to carry the equipment listed in this
guide if they are competing in an official provincial, national
or international regatta or competition, or are engaged in training
at the events venue. racing-type boats (other than canoes,
kayaks and rowing shells) do not have to carry the equipment listed
in this guide if they: are engaged in formal training, in
an official competition or in final preparation for an official
competition; are operated under conditions of clear visibility;
are attended by a safety craft; and carry the safety
equipment required by the rules of their sports governing
body. a sailboard or kiteboard does not have to carry the equipment
listed in this guide if it carries a sound- signalling device or
appliance and is engaged in an official competition where an attending
safety craft carries a lifejacket that fits the sail/ kite boarder
and that can be put on in the water (PFDs with automatic inflators
are not allowed). operating a personal Watercraft Safe use of a
personal watercraft (PWc) requires skill and experience.
PWc operators must be at least 16 years old and have proof of competency
and proof of age on board. before you let someone borrow your PWc,
you must make sure that they know how to operate it safely and responsibly.
here are some other basic tips: always wear a canadian-approved
lifejacket (inflatable PFDs are not allowed) coloured red, orange
or yellow to make it easy for others to see you. Wear thermal
protection when operating in cold water (water less than 15°c).
read the owners manual before setting out. attach
the engine shut-off line securely to your wrist or lifejacket.
respect speed limits and other vessel operation restrictions.
be cautious, courteous and respect your neighbours.
Many people dislike the noise a PWc makes when it is operated for
long periods of time at high speed in one place, especially when
it is used to jump waves. be aware of the impact your PWc
can have on the environment. avoid high speeds near shore.
Stay alert! at high speeds, its hard to see swimmers, water
skiers, divers and other PWcs in time to avoid them. Do not
operate your PWc after dark or when visibility is poor. Make
sure your PWc is properly licensed and marked. Do not start
your PWc if you smell gasoline or fumes in the engine compartment.
have a qualified technician check it. replace the engine
cover or seat before starting.
To learn more about operating a PWc, check out the Safety rules
and Tips for Personal Watercraft (PWc) Use brochure at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
personal lifesaving appliances lifejackets come in red, orange or
This makes you much easier to see in the water. right now there
are three canadian-approved lifejacket types to choose from. solas
(safety of life at sea) lifejacKets standard type lifejacKets small
vessel lifejacKets performance in the water best performance
Will turn you on your back in seconds to keep your face out of the
water, even if you are unconscious Slower Performance Will
turn you on your back to keep your face out of the water, even if
you are unconscious,
Slowest Performance Will turn you on your back to keep your
face out of the water, even if you are unconscious, but may do so
more slowly sizes (by body weight ) available in 2 sizes:
over 32 kg (70 lbs) less than 32 kg (70 lbs) available in
2 sizes: over 40 kg (88 lbs) less than 40 kg (88 lbs)
available in 3 sizes: over 41 kg (90 lbs) 18 kg (40
lbs) to 41 kg (90 lbs) less than 18 kg (40 lbs)
Keyhole Vest Future types and designs of lifejackets, including
inflatables, that meet the new lifejacket standard adopted in 2007,
will offer more comfort and better performance. about 90 percent
of people who drown in recreational boating incidents are not wearing
a lifejacket. Even if you have one on board, conditions like rough
winds and waves, and cold water can make it really hard, if not
impossible, to find it and put it on. Worse yet, if you unexpectedly
fall into the water, the boat (with your lifejacket on board) could
be too far away to reach. are you planning a trip across the lake
to do some fishing or hunting? it takes more than steering your
boat to get from point a to point b. here are some other things
to consider: always wear a canadian-approved lifejacket coloured
red, orange or yellow to make it easy for others to see you.
avoid overloading the boat. Know your boats ability
to manoeuvre and its limits. Never cruise with booze.
learn about weather patterns, hypothermia and cold shock. one small
mistake can put you in the water and your survival could depend
on you and your guests being prepared. Dress for boating.
Some gear, such as hip waders, should never be worn in boats.
have a way to contact your loved ones to let them know if your plans
change especially if you have filed a sail plan and are expected
home at a certain time.
Fishing and hunting a lifejacket is the best insurance you can have
so find one that suits your needs and wear it on or near
the water! although you can choose between lifejackets and PFDs,
keep in mind that lifejackets offer a higher level of protection.
lifesaving cushions are not approved as safety equipment on any
To find a list of all canadian-approved lifejackets and PFDs, check
out the approved Products catalogue index at www.tc.gc.ca.
choose a bright colour such as red, yellow or orange for your lifejacket
and kayak so other boat operators can see you.
Keep signalling devices within easy reach in case of emergency.
Sea kayakers should be aware of water temperatures, tides, currents,
wind and maritime traffic.
For more information on sea kayaking, checkout the Sea Kayaking
Safety guide at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm
Personal Flotation Devices Keeping Kids afloat Equipment Personal
flotation devices (PFDs) are available in a wide range of approved
types, sizes and colours. While PFDs are more comfortable than lifejackets
because they are designed for constant wear, they do not generally
offer the same level of protection as lifejackets for: staying
afloat; and turning you on your back to keep your face out
of the water so you can breathe. choose a PFD based on your needs
and activity. if you plan to operate at high speeds, look for a
PFD with three or more chest belts for security. if you will be
boating in cold water (water less than 15°c), choose a PFD with
some thermal protection. a large selection is also available for
activities such as sailboarding, kayaking and canoeing.
No matter what type of PFD you choose, you should choose a colour
that makes you easy to see in the water.
There are many pros and cons to choosing a PFD over a lifejacket,
but remember that a PFD may not turn you on your back if you fall
in the water. The choice is yours, but think carefully before buying.
you can also buy inflatable PFDs, but you must understand how to
use and care for them if they are to work properly. you must also
understand which activities and conditions they are approved for.
above all, remember that you have to be wearing an inflatable PFD
for it to be approved on an open boat. if the boat is not open then
you only need to wear it while youre on deck or in the cockpit.
inflatable PFDs are not made to be worn: by anyone under
16 years old; by anyone who weighs less than 36.3 kg (80
lbs); on a personal watercraft; or for white-water
paddling activities. inflatable PFDs come in the following two styles:
vest types that can be inflated orally, manually (with a
co2 system) or automatically; and pouch types that can be
orally inflated or manually inflated by pulling a toggle to activate
a co2 inflation system. although these PFDs inflate quickly, for
weak swimmers it can seem like it takes forever. all canadian-approved
inflatable PFDs have an oral inflation tube in case the co2 inflation
system fails. This tube could be hard to use when you are trying
to keep your head above water. an emergency is no time to try out
a new device. inflatable PFDs should come with an owners manual.
look for it and read it carefully.
Try the PFD on under supervision and before heading out to make
sure you know how to use it.
To learn more about choosing a lifejacket or PFD, visit www.wearalifejacket.com
Kids should wear a lifejacket and be within arms reach at
all times. before buying a lifejacket for your child, make sure
it is canadian-approved. have your child try it on. it should fit
snugly and not ride up over the chin or ears. if there are more
than 7.6 cm (3) between your childs shoulders and the
device, it is too big and could do more harm than good. look for
these safety features: a large collar for head support;
waist ties or elastic gathers in front and back; a safety
strap that goes between the legs to prevent it from slipping over
your childs head; buckles on the safety straps; and
you should also consider attaching a non-metallic pealess whistle.
Do you want your child to wear a lifejacket? Set a good example
and wear yours every time you are on or near the water. Parents
of young children should be aware that there are no approved lifejackets
for infants under 9 kg (20 lbs). To learn more about finding the
right lifejacket for your child, visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm
Equipment labels For a lifejacket to be canadian- approved, it must
have a label that states it has been approved by: Transport
canada; the canadian coast guard; Fisheries and oceans
canada; or any combination of the above. lifejackets approved
by the U.S. coast guard are not canadian- approved. however, visitors
to canada may bring their own lifejackets to use on a pleasure craft
as long as it fits and it conforms to the laws of their home country.
buoyant heaving lines a buoyant heaving line is approved for use
as long as it: floats; is in good condition;
is made of one full length of rope, not many shorter ropes tied
together; is long enough for the boat you will be using;
and is used only as safety equipment so that it is easy to
find and use in an emergency. caring for your lifejacket
Treat your lifejacket like an investment and take good care of it!
lifejackets that are ripped or in poor condition are not considered
approved. Follow these tips to keep your lifejacket in good condition.
check its buoyancy regularly in a pool or by wading out to
waist-deep water and bending your knees to see how well you float.
Make sure that straps, buckles and zippers are clean and
work well. Tug on straps to make sure they are well attached
and there is no sign of wear. Dry the lifejacket in open
air and avoid direct heat sources. Store it in a dry, well-ventilated
place where it is easy to reach. Do not dry clean. Use mild
soap and running water to clean. Never sit or kneel on your
lifejacket or use it as a fender for your boat.
When buying a lifebuoy, look for a Transport canada approval stamp
or label. lifebuoys must be at least 610 mm (24) in diameter.
Solas lifebuoys are 762 mm (30) in diameter. Smaller lifebuoys
and horseshoe-type devices are not approved. reboarding Devices
a reboarding device allows someone to get back on the boat from
the water. a transom ladder or swim platform ladder meets this requirement.
Vessel Safety equipment Manual Propelling Devices a manual propelling
device can be: a set of oars; a paddle; or
anything that a person can operate by hand or foot to propel a boat,
including the rudder on a small open sail boat or a paddle wheel
on a paddle boat. anchors having the right anchor and cable for
your boat is important. if you dont, rough winds and water
can cause it to drag, leaving your boat to drift. This is especially
dangerous if you are asleep or swimming nearby. Make sure your boat
is well anchored and keep watch to detect signs of dragging. bailers
and Manual bilge Pumps bailers must hold at least 750 ml (0.2 gallon),
have an opening of at least 65 cm2 (10 in2) and be made of plastic
or metal. if you have a manual bilge pump, the pump and hose must
be long enough to reach the bilge and discharge water over the side
of the boat. you can make a bailer out of a four-litre rigid plastic
bottle (useful for small open boats) by following these steps:
rinse thoroughly; secure the lid; cut off the bottom;
and cut along the side with the handle (as pictured). 37
navigation equipment Type c: hand Flare: The hand flare:
is a red flame torch you hold in your hand; provides limited
visibility from the ground; is best used to help air searchers
locate you; and burns for at least one minute.
When lighting the flare, hold it clear of the boat and downwind.
Dont look directly at the flare while it is burning. Type
D: Smoke Signal (buoyant or hand): a smoke signal, either
buoyant or hand: creates a dense orange smoke for
buoyant: three minutes hand: 50 seconds is to be used
only in daylight
Position your smoke signal downwind and follow the directions carefully.
Visual Signals distress Flares When buying distress flares, look
for a Transport canada approval stamp or label. remember that flares
are only good for four years from the date of manufacture, which
is stamped on every flare. ask the manufacturer how to dispose of
your outdated flares. Use flares only in an emergency. aerial flares
should be fired at an angle into the wind. in strong wind, lower
the angle to 45 degrees, at most. Flares should be kept within reach
and stored vertically in a cool, dry location (such as a watertight
container) to keep them in good working condition.
There are four types of approved flares: a, b, c and D. Type a:
rocket Parachute Flare: The rocket parachute
flare: creates a single red star; reaches a height
of 300 m (984) and comes down slowly with a parachute;
is easily seen from the ground or air; and burns for at least
40 seconds. Type b: Multi-Star Flare: The multi-star flare:
creates two or more red stars; reaches a height of 100 m
(3281) and each burns for four or five seconds; and
is easily seen from the ground or air.
Some Type B flares project only one star at a time.
When using the single star type, two flares must be fired within
15 seconds of each other. This means that you will need double the
number of cartridges to meet the requirements.
Watertight Flashlights Make sure that the batteries in your watertight
flashlight are still good before every trip. if you lose power,
a watertight flashlight may be your only way to signal for help.
Sound-Signalling Devices boats under 12 m (394) without
a fitted sound-signalling appliance must carry a sound-signalling
device. This can be a pealess whistle, a compressed gas horn or
an electric horn.
Sound-Signalling appliances all boats 12 m (394) or
more must have a fitted whistle. boats over 20 m (657)
must also have a bell. check the collision regulations for the technical
standards these appliances must meet. equipment 38 39 Navigation
lights if your boat is equipped with navigation lights, they must
work and meet the technical standards set out in the collision regulations.
The following table lays out some basic requirements and options
for navigation lights and shapes, based on the type and length of
your boat. if you have a sail boat that is also equipped with a
motor, you must meet the standards for both sail boats and power
Navigation light and Shape requirements and options by boat type
and length remember that the following table is not complete. read
the collision regulations (referred to in each category below) for
more details. if you are fitting your own navigation lights, refer
to the positioning requirements in the collision regulations, (annex
i: Positioning and Technical Details of lights and Shapes). if you
have any questions after reading the regulations, please contact
Boat type and length requirements options 1 2 3 4 power boats under
12 m (394) rule 23 one (1) masthead light;
oPtional another masthead light; Sidelights;
and one (1) sternlight or one (1) all-round white
light; and Sidelights WhiteredWhitegreenWhiteredgreenpower
boats from 12 m to under 50 m (394
1641) rule 23 one (1) masthead
light; oPtional another masthead light; Sidelights;
and one (1) sternlight Whitered Whitegreen sail boats under
7 m (23) rule 25 Sidelights; one (1)
sternlight; and oPtional Two (2) all-round lights
in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower green or
one (1) lantern, combining the sidelights and sternlight above or
(if requirements above are not practical) have ready at hand
an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light that
you must use far enough in advance to prevent a collision. Note:
optional in the canadian waters of a roadstead, harbour,
river, lake or inland waterway, a sail boat that is also being propelled
by a motor may exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical
shape, apex downwards. green red white green red green red white
green red white white
equipment boat type and length requirements options 1 2 3 4 sail
boats from 7 m to under 20 m (23 657)
rule 25 Sidelights; one (1) sternlight; and
oPtional Two (2) all-round lights in a vertical line, the
upper being red and the lower green or one (1) lantern, combining
the sidelights and sternlight above NoTE: oPTioNal iF <
12 m in the canadian waters of a roadstead, harbour, river,
lake or inland waterway, a sail boat that is also being propelled
by a motor may exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical
shape, apex downwards. greenredWhitegreenredgreenredWhitegreenredWhitesail
boats 20 m (657) and over rule 25 Sidelights;
one (1) sternlight; and oPtional Two (2) all-round
lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower green
NoTE: in the canadian waters of a roadstead, harbour, river, lake
or inland waterway, a sail boat that is also being propelled by
a motor shall exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical
shape, apex downwards. greenredWhitegreenredgreenredWhitehuman-powered
boats rule 25 have ready at hand an electric torch
or lighted lantern showing a white light that you must use far enough
in advance to prevent a collision. or Same lights as listed
above for sail boats, according to length WhitegreenredWhiteboats
at anchor under 7 m (23) rule 30 if the boat is in
or near a narrow channel, fairway or anchorage, or where other boats
normally navigate: one (1) all-round white light (at night)
or one (1) ball (during the day); and another all-round white
light or one (1) all-round white light NoTE: oPTioNal
any available lights to illuminate decks may be used. Whiteblackballboats
at anchor from 7 m to under 50 m (23 1641)
rule 30 one (1) all-round white light (at night) or
one (1) ball (during the day); and another all-round white
light or one (1) all-round white light NoTE: oPtional
any available lights to illuminate decks may be used. Whiteblackballequipment
equipment masthead light: a white light placed over the fore and
aft centreline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc
of the horizon of 225 degrees and fixed so the light can be seen
from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of
the vessel. Sidelights: a green light on the starboard side and
a red light on the port side, each showing an unbroken light over
an arc of the horizon of 112.5 degrees and fixed so the light can
be seen from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on its respective
side. in a vessel of less than 20 m (657) in length,
the sidelights may be combined in one lantern carried on the fore
and aft centreline of the vessel. radar reflectors a radar reflector
can enhance your safety on the water, but only if its big
enough and well placed on your boat. reflectors help larger vessels
to see small boats on their radar screens, which is sometimes the
only way that they will be able to spot small boats.
When buying a reflector, there is no substitute for size
so buy the biggest one that is practical for your boat. height is
also very important, so keep this in mind too. reflectors should
be located above all superstructures and at least 4 m (131)
above the water if practical. There are all kinds of reflectors
of varying quality on the market, so make sure you look carefully
before buying. Sternlight: a white light placed as nearly as possible
at the stern, showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon
of 135 degrees and fixed so the light can be seen 67.5 degrees from
right aft on each side of the vessel. all-round light: a light showing
an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360 degrees. Fire-Fighting
equipment Portable Fire Extinguishers Different types of fires require
different types of extinguishers. you should buy a fire extinguisher
with an abc rating. The letters on a fire extinguisher tell you
what types of fires it is designed to fight. Fires are classified
as follows: class a: Materials that burn, such as wood, cloth,
paper, rubber and plastic class b: liquids that burn, such
as gas, oil and grease class c:
The number before the letters on the extinguisher tells you how
big a fire it will put out compared to other extinguishers.
For example, a 10b: c device will put out a larger fire than a 5b:
c device. any fire extinguisher you choose must be certified and
labelled by the U.S. coast guard (for marine use),
Underwriters laboratories of canada (Ulc) or Underwriters laboratories,
inc. (Ul). you are no longer allowed to refill halon fire extinguishers.
check your extinguishers often for correct operating pressure and
make sure that you and your guests know how to use them. have a
qualified person maintain, service and recharge your extinguishers
as per the manufacturers instructions.
Take dry chemical devices out of their bracket and give them a few
hard shakes in the upside down position (about once a month) to
keep the contents active. 44 45 Suggested items if you will be on
the water for more than a few hours heres a list of items
you may want to have. Spare clothing in a watertight bag
Weather conditions can change quickly, so be prepared. Drinking
water and snacks Drinking water and snacks will help avoid fatigue
and dehydration. Tool Kits and Spare Parts you may need to
make repairs when youre out on the water. Take along a tool
kit and spare parts like fuses, bulbs, a spare propeller, nuts and
bolts, penetrating oil, duct tape and spark plugs. you should also
have and know how to use the tools and materials needed to stop
hull leaks until you get to shore. bring the owners manual
and any other guidebook you might need on your trip. First
aid While boating, you may be far from medical help, so take a first
aid kit with you.
Store it in a dry place and replace used and outdated contents regularly.
Pack it to meet your specific needs. Do you know the symptoms of
cold shock, hypothermia, heat exhaustion and allergic reactions?
Do you know how to stop bleeding, perform cpr or treat shock? if
not, take a first aid course as soon as possible. having first aid
skills can make the difference between permanent injury and full
recovery, or even life and death. To learn more about first aid
training, contact the nearest training provider. Everyone has the
right to enjoy a safe, fun time on the water.
This means that everyone also has a responsibility to respect and
share waterways with wildlife, swimmers, divers, other boaters and
watercraft ranging from sail boats to float planes. This section
outlines some basic rules for canadas waterways and guides
you through some of the things you need to be aware of and watch
out for while youre out on the water. equipment 46 on the
Water 47 on the Water rules of the road and Safety on the Water
Small Vessel and Facility Security awareness how you can help respect
and Protect canadas Waterways Vessel operation restrictions
rules of the road and Safety on the Water The rules of the
road for canadas waterways help everyone avoid collisions
on the water by setting out what every boater should do to avoid
hitting or being hit by another vessel.
This is not just a way to be polite its the law.
These rules apply to every vessel and operator on all navigable
waterways from canoes to supertankers.
These rules are set out in the collision regulations under Schedule
i: Section i: conduct of vessels in any condition of visibility
and Section ii: conduct of vessels in sight of one another. learn
the rules of the road and boat by them! here are some of the rules
of the road for sailing vessels. When each sailing vessel
has the wind on a different side, the vessel that has the wind on
its port (left) side must keep out of the way of the other. as you
can see below, vessel a keeps clear of vessel b. if a sailing
vessel has the wind on its port side and the operator is not sure
if the other vessel has the wind on its port or starboard (right)
side, the first boat must keep out of the way of the other.
When both sailing vessels have the wind on the same side, the vessel
to windward* must keep out of the way of the vessel to leeward.
as you can see below, vessel b keeps clear of vessel a .
Keep Watch to avoid collisions Keeping constant watch for others
on the water is common sense and the law. if you are sharing the
water with large vessels, remember that it is harder for them to
see you or change their route to avoid you. it also takes them longer
These are all good reasons to be ready to move out of their way.
Vessels less than 20 m (657) and sailing vessels must
stay out of the way of larger vessels that can safely navigate only
within the navigation channel. a large vessel will remind you to
give way by giving five or more short blasts of its horn.
This means there is an emergency and you must get out of the way.
Steer clear of Shipping lanes Some boaters do not realize the risk
they take when they cross shipping lanes or pass in front of larger
vessels. here are some tips to remember since these vessels probably
will not see you until it is too late. always watch for others
on the water and be ready to yield to large vessels in the safest
way keeping in mind the water and weather conditions.
Use radar and radio if you have them. Navigate in groups
of other small boats when possible, to be more visible. Stay
off the water in fog or high winds.
Stay clear of docked ferries, ferries in transit, vessels in tow
and working fishing vessels.
give Plenty of Space to Tugs and other Towing Vessels Tugs may tow
vessels on a long tow line that extends behind the tug. The tow
line is often so long that it hangs below the surface of the water
and is nearly invisible. Never pass between a tug and its tow. if
a small boat were to hit the hidden line, it could capsize and be
run down by the object being towed.
Many towed objects will also have a long trailing line behind them.
give the tug and its tow plenty of space in every direction. be
alert for special lights displayed by tugs (or any vessels) towing
barges, other boats or objects.
The tug is usually more visible than its tow, whose navigation lights
do not include masthead lights and are often much dimmer than those
of the tug. if a power-driven vessel is towing another vessel or
object from its stern, the power-driven vessel must display:
sidelights; a sternlight; a towing light (yellow light
with the same characteristics as the sternlight);
*For power boat information, see page 77 of this guide.
*The windward side is opposite to the side that carries the mainsail
or, in the case of a square-rigged vessel, the side opposite to
the side that carries the largest fore and aft sail. look for more
rules of the road on page 77 of this guide.
on the Water on the Water
on the Water two masthead lights in a vertical line
three if the tow exceeds 200 m (656); and a diamond
shape where it will be easy to see if the tow exceeds 200 m (656)
day signal. if a barge, vessel or any other object is being
towed, it must display: sidelights; a sternlight;
and a diamond shape where it will be easy to see if the tow
exceeds 200 m (656). if the requirements above are not practical,
the tow must carry one all-round white light at each end (front
and back). if youre looking to fit your boat with navigation
lights for towing, refer to rule 24 of the collision regulations
for details. be aware and Polite Never buzz, try to spray swimmers,
or cut in front of or try to jump the wake of other vessels.
Some of the worst boating incidents happen when speed or distance
is misjudged. operate at a Safe Speed you may have to stop or turn
suddenly to avoid a collision, so operate at a safe speed. a safe
speed depends on: your ability to see ahead slow is
the only safe speed in fog, mist, rain and darkness; current,
wind, and water conditions; how quickly your boat can change
direction; how many and what types of vessels are near you;
and the presence of navigational hazards such as rocks and
tree stumps. be very careful when boating where visibility is poor,
such as entering or exiting a fog bank. a boats wake can damage
other vessels, docks and the shoreline. it can also be a risk for
swimmers, divers and people on small boats that might capsize. be
aware of how your boats wake might affect others when choosing
you will be responsible for any damages or harm you cause. reduce
Engine Noise Every boat equipped with a motor other than a stock
(unmodified) outboard engine must have a muffler and use it while
operating within five nautical miles (9.26 km) of shore. This does
not apply to you if your boat was built before January 1, 1960,
or if you are in an official competition or in formal training or
final preparation for an official competition.
Waterskiing and other recreational Towing activities
The rules that govern waterskiing also apply to other towing activities
like barefoot skiing, tubing, kneeboarding and parasailing. here
are rules to remember when towing someone with your boat:
There must be a spotter on board the boat who can keep watch on
each person being towed and communicate with the operator.
There must be an empty seat on your boat for each person being towed
in case they need to come on board. When you see either flag, give
divers plenty of room by keeping your boat at least 100 m (328)
from the flag. if you cant stay that far away because of the
size of the waterway, slow down as much as possible, move ahead
with caution, and keep clear of the vessel and diving site.
only personal watercraft made to carry three or more people may
be used for towing. if anyone being towed is not wearing
a lifejacket, there must be one on board for him or her.
Keep your Distance from Divers below the Surface Diving is a popular
water sport so, know what a diver down flag looks like and keep
careful watch for such flags.
This is very important because the wake from your boat, along with
weather and other factors, can make it hard to see divers
bubbles on the surface of the water. Seaplanes as a boater, you
must be aware of what is going on around you, both on the water
and in the skies. Watch for aircraft anytime you are out on the
water and give plenty of space to any aircraft that is landing or
taking off. No towing is allowed when visibility is poor
or from one hour after sunset to sunrise. a towing boat cannot
be remotely controlled. These requirements do not apply to a boat
that is being operated during formal training, in an official competition
or in a skill demonstration if the boat meets the safety requirements
of a governing body respecting such training, competitions or demonstrations.
Diversboats must display the international blue and white
code Flag alpha. a red and white flag that may also be carried on
a buoy marks the area where diving is in progress, although divers
may stray from the boundaries of the marked areas. if you decide
to go diving from your boat, remember to display these flags as
well. best practice includes staying within 100 m (328) of
your flag. 51 Safety around Dams be very careful near canal dams
and waste weirs where currents and undertows can be very dangerous.
it is against the law to jump, dive, scuba dive, swim or bathe within
40 m (131) of a dam. low-head dams are especially dangerous.
boaters and anglers often get too close to the downstream side of
the dam, become drawn or sucked into the backwash current that takes
Safety in historic canals and locks When visiting one of canadas
historic canals, make sure your boat has good mooring lines and
securely fastened floating fenders in sufficient numbers and size.
Many water activities are not allowed in a canal.
Some rules include: no excessive noise between 11 p.m. and
6 a.m.; no fishing within 10 m (3210) of a lock
or approach wharf or from a them to the base of the dam, and are
then forced under water. Victims are then pushed away from the dam
under water. after surfacing, the victim is drawn back in toward
the base of the dam, starting the cycle over again. Find out if
there are any dams where you plan to go boating before you head
out and stay clear of them. bridge that passes over a navigation
channel; no diving, jumping, scuba diving or swimming in
a navigation channel or within 40 m (131) of a lock gate or
a dam; no waterskiing or other towing activities while in
a navigation channel or within 100 m (3281) of a lock
structure; and no mooring a vessel to a navigation aid. docks,
you may be told to tie up to one inside the lock chamber.
Tend vessel lines carefully during the lockage. looping a line around
a deck cleat may provide extra leverage. Never leave bow
or stern lines unattended. Switch off the engine(s) and generator.
open flames and smoking are not allowed during lockage.
The bilge blower must be operating during lockage. When the lock
gates open, wait for staff to direct you to restart your engine.
Make sure all lines are returned to your boat and exit slowly and
Watch out for wind, currents and other vessels. if you plan to use
the St. lawrence Seaway locks, consult the St. lawrence Seaway Pleasure
craft guide at www.greatlakes-seaway.com
to learn how they operate.
Small Vessel and Facility Security awareness on the Water Visit
Parks canada at www.pc.gc.ca
to learn more about historic canals. Passage through a lock obey
the posted speed limits and be aware of your boats wake when
approaching a lock. Why? because wake limits are more important
than speed limits in these areas. here are some other things to
remember: Keep clear of the channel near lock gates so that
vessels can come and go safely. a blue line on the mooring
wharf shows where to wait for the next lockage. Follow the
instructions given by lockmasters and bridge operators (at a number
of lock stations, a green traffic light is your signal to go ahead).
Enter the lock slowly (no faster than 10 km/h) and have people
at the bow and stern of your boat ready with mooring lines.
if the lock has drop cables, loop boat lines around them, not to
them, and only once your boat is safely positioned. if the lock
has floating Transport canada believes the best way to keep small
vessels and small vessel facilities safe and secure is to promote
security awareness. in canada, small vessels including pleasure
craft often operate near critical infrastructure such as hydro dams,
power plants, chemical factories, bridges and key marine assets
such as merchant vessels, ferries or cruise ships potential
targets for terrorist attacks. a small vessel could be used as:
a floating bomb; a launch pad for attacking maritime
industry or other critical infrastructure; or a means of
smuggling weapons or terrorists.
The use of small vessels for such activities could put our public
safety and security, as well as our national commerce, trade and
economy at risk.
That is why you should know how to reduce the risk of terrorists
using small vessels and know what to do if you see any suspicious
activity on or near canadas waterways.
learn more about security and terrorism in canada, search the internet
for integrated Threat assessment centre. on the Water Maritime Security:
a global concern
The international Maritime consider.
The IMO voluntary guidelines organization (IMO) is the United will
help you: Nations agency responsible for plan for security
incidents; improving maritime safety and security. in 2008, it issued
voluntary offer security awareness programs; security guidelines
for small vessels and and facilities. Transport canada prevent
the theft or hijacking of, and helped draft them. They encourage
unauthorized access to, small vessels. you to report suspicious
activities to appropriate authorities and describe best practices
that we hope you will guidelines for Pleasure craft The following
section is a summary of the IMO guidelines appendix relating
to pleasure craft. remember: the overall safety and security of
your boat, crew and passengers are your responsibility. That is
why you should follow the advice below. Search your boat Search
your pleasure craft often to make sure that nothing suspicious has
been placed on board, left behind or removed while the boat was
left unattended. if you find something suspicious, contact the appropriate
local authorities right away.
Do not handle suspicious packages or objects. Secure your Vessel
Where possible, lock external doors, hatches and storage areas,
and secure windows when you leave your pleasure craft unattended.
if it will be left unattended for some time: moor the vessel
according to local consider using steering locks, port by-laws;
if practical; lock ignition switches to prevent consider
etching the hull theft/unauthorized use; identification number onto
always take the ignition key with you; windows and hatches;
and consider installing a small craft consider installing
a hidden device alarm system to alert you to to shut off the fuel
line, or an any unauthorized movement engine immobilizer. (integrating
the alarm system with smoke and fire sensors will give you a complete
vessel protection system); Protect your Property it is a good idea
to mark and photograph your vessel and equipment.
This will help authorities identify stolen equipment. consider getting
a radio frequency identification device (rFiD) anti-theft system,
if available. Why? Such systems reduce theft risk, increase recovery
rates and in some instances, reduce insurance fees. choose a Safe
route Plan your route and ports of call carefully before a voyage.
Make every effort to avoid areas where terrorism and criminal activities,
including piracy and armed robbery, are a major threat. if you must
travel through unsafe waters: travel with other vessels as
quickly keep to a strict contact schedule, as possible; preferably
via satellite, mobile notify the maritime authorities for
telephone or similar system the area before you arrive or leave;
that terrorists cannot use to and locate the vessel through radio
direction finding. be Prepared Make sure your emergency plans include
procedures for navigation problems, health and safety issues, and
security alerts and incidents. conduct regular drills to make sure
that everyone on board knows what to do if a safety or security
incident occurs. if you are navigating in high security-risk areas,
always search your pleasure craft carefully before getting underway.
Take extra care when searching places where a stowaway might hide,
such as sail lockers. if possible, conduct the search with another
person for your own safety. if you do find a stowaway, contact the
appropriate authorities right away. on the Water report Security
incidents have a plan for reporting and recording security incidents.
The plan should include contacting the nearest police and/or coastal
authorities, and nearby vessels.
To learn more about the iMo security guidelines, search the internet
United States Small Vessel Strategy if you navigate on waterways
shared with the United States, you may be interested in the Department
of homeland Securitys Small Vessel Security Strategy, released
in 2008. To learn more, search the internet for DhS Small Vessel
Security Strategy. reporting Suspicious activities Transport canada
believes the best way to keep small vessels and small vessel facilities
secure is to promote security awareness. The royal canadian Mounted
Police (rcMP) also has a suspicious coastal activity awareness and
To learn about this program, search the internet for rcMP suspicious
coastal activity. reporting suspicious activities is important because
the RCMP, provincial and municipal police need the marine community
and people who live in remote coastal areas to be their eyes and
ears. There is just too much navigable water within canada and along
our borders for the police to maintain marine security without help.
To learn more about Transport canada Marine Security activities,
visit www.tc.gc.ca. how you can help We know that most people using
small vessels and facilities are law-abiding, and that activities
that appear suspicious may not be. answer the questions below and
use your best judgment to decide whether or not you should report
what you may see. are unauthorized persons inappropriately
trying to gain access to vessels or facilities? are a vessels
crew members not typical for the type of small vessel? are
crew members reluctant to leave a vessel while it is being serviced
and/or are they taking unusual security measures? is a vessel
anchored or running without lights in the dark? are there
smaller vessels hovering near a larger vessel? are there
lights flashing between boats? are crew members recovering
items from or tossing items into the water or onto the shoreline?
are people or things being transferred between vessels, between
a vessel and a floatplane, or between a vessel and the shore?
are vessel owners reluctant to fully identify themselves to a marina
or harbour authority? is it hard for those authorities to locate
owners? Do people appear too interested in potential targets
such as hydro dams, power plants, chemical factories, bridges and
key marine assets such as merchant vessels, ferries or cruise ships?
is there unusual diving activity? has someone stolen
a marine facility vehicle, vehicle pass, personnel identification
or personnel uniforms? Do vessels appear to be purposely
avoiding other vessels by changing direction? Do not approach or
challenge anyone you think is acting in a suspicious manner. report
suspicious activity to your local police service or call the rcMP
at one of the numbers below.
RCMP contact numbers for reporting suspicious marine activities
Newfoundland and Labrador ________1-709-772-5400
Nova Scotia ____________________1-800-803-7267
Prince Edward island _____________1-902-566-7112
New brunswick __________________1-800-665-6663
Quebec _______________________ 1-800-771-5401
Ontario _______________________ 1-800-387-0020
Manitoba ______________________ 1-204-983-5462
Saskatchewan _________________ 1-306-780-5563
Alberta ________________________ 1-780-412-5300
British Columbia _________________ 1-888-855-6655
Yukon _________________________ 1-800-381-7564
Northwest Territories _____________1-867-669-1111
56 57 58
Respect and protect canadas Waterways canadas lakes,
rivers and coastal waters are ours to share, so do your part to
take good care of them. it is against the law to pollute the water
with things like oil, garbage, hydrocarbons and untreated sewage
in inland waters. Canada has laws that protect our waterways and
shorelines, and some of them apply to pleasure craft. it is your
responsibility to make sure you know and obey the laws in force
wherever you go boating.
The regulations for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and for
Dangerous chemicals address major risks to the health of our waterways
and shorelines such as sewage, garbage and hydrocarbons.
Sewage contains, among other things, human or animal body waste,
drainage and other waste from toilets.
These regulations prohibit the use of freestanding portable toilets.
however, a portable toilet that is secured to the vessel may be
used for temporary storage of sewage.
The regulations also require that boats fitted with toilets be equipped
with either a holding tank or a marine sanitation device. if your
boat was built before May 3, 2007, you must comply with these regulations
by May 3, 2012. boats built on or after May 3, 2007, must comply
immediately. reducing Pollution from bilges oil, fuel, antifreeze
and transmission fluid are a few examples of pollutants that harm
the environment when pumped overboard usually by automatic
bilge pumps. bilge cleaners, even the biodegradable ones, just break
down the oil into tiny, less visible droplets. absorbent bilge cloths
are very useful because they are designed to absorb petroleum products
and repel water. here are a few tips to help keep bilge pollution
at a minimum. Make sure your bilge is clean before turning
on automatic bilge pumps. only use them when needed and when the
bilge contains only water. Use towels or bilge cloths to
absorb oils, fuel, antifreeze and transmission fluid. Dispose of
used towels or bilge cloths in an approved garbage container.
Stop the Spread of invasive Species Many have seen invasive species,
such as zebra mussels and green crab, take over local waters. you
can do your part by keeping your hull clean. This is very important
if you operate your boat on a lake or river and then tow it over
land to use in another area. rinsing or cleaning your hull after
use or before entering new waters helps to remove spores and other
invasive organisms. Some communities require this as part of local
Use Environmentally Friendly cleaners all-purpose cleanser Mix 30
ml of baking soda or borax, 30 ml of tea tree essential oil, 125
ml of vinegar, 15 ml of biodegradable dish soap and 2 litres of
hot water. Spray on the surfaces to be cleaned. chromium rub with
baking soda. rinse and polish with vinegar in hot water. decK and
floor Pour 250 ml of vinegar in 2 litres of water. drain Pour 60
ml of baking soda in the drain, followed by 60 ml of vinegar. let
it rest for 15 minutes, then pour in a full kettle of boiling water.
mould add 60 ml of borax and 30 ml of vinegar to 500 ml of hot water.
Spray the mixture to eliminate germs. toilet Pour 125 ml of baking
soda and 125 ml of vinegar into the toilet bowl. The foaming reaction
cleans and deodorizes. brush and flush. window and mirror Mix 2
ml of liquid soap, 45 ml of vinegar and 500 ml of water in a spray
bottle. Use a cotton rag to clean and shine. wood (polish) Mix 30
ml of edible linseed oil, 30 ml of vinegar and 60 ml of lemon juice
in a glass pitcher. rub the solution into the wood with a soft rag
until it is clean.
To store the solution, add a few drops of vitamin E from a capsule
and cover. choose a holding tank or a marine sanitation device that
works for you. a holding tank is only used to collect and store
sewage or sewage sludge and must be emptied at approved pump-out
facilities on dry land only. be sure to follow pumping instructions
and avoid using disinfectants, as they may harm the environment.
a marine sanitation device is designed to receive and treat sewage
on board. only sewage treated with a marine sanitation device that
meets the standards set out in the regulations may be discharged
in inland waters. When planning your trip, check with local authorities
for pump-out facility locations.
Holding Tanks and Marine Sanitation Devices Disclaimer: www.aquaticintruders.com
The links we provide to external websites are provided for your
convenience only. be aware that they may not follow the official
Preventing Pollution in our Waterways on the Water
Remember these green boating tips, vessel operation restrictions
Make sure your engine is well maintained to reduce air pollution.
Use only paints approved for marine use. When fuelling,
do not top off tanks and clean up any spilled fuel. Keep
your bilge clean and do not pump oily water overboard. Use
bilge absorbents in place of detergents. Do not pump your
sewage over the side use a holding tank. obey all
sewage regulations. bring your garbage home (including cigarette
butts) do not litter. Try not to use detergents
even biodegradable cleaners are hard on plants and animals that
live in the water. avoid shoreline erosion watch your
wake and propeller wash. obey all speed limits for better
fuel economy. report pollution when you see it.
if you accidentally pollute the water or you witness or see the
result of someone else polluting,
report it to a
government of canada pollution prevention officer or call one of
the following telephone numbers right away:
british columbia and yukon ________________________ 1-800-889-8852
Alberta,Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario,
Northwest Territories and Nunavut __________________ 1-800-265-0237
New brunswick, Prince Edward island and Nova Scotia __ 1-800-565-1633
Newfoundland and labrador________________________1-800-563-9089
On the Water local restrictions have been placed on some canadian
waterways to promote public safety. Some of these include a ban
on power boats, maximum engine power limits, speed limits and a
ban on recreational towing activities.
These restrictions are listed in the schedules to the Vessel operation
restriction regulations. These restrictions are enforced by local
authorities. Province-Wide Shoreline Speed limits Some provinces
have adopted speed limits of 10 km/h within 30 m (985)
of shore on all waters within their boundaries. This speed limit
applies in ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, alberta and the inland
waters of british columbia and Nova Scotia.
This limit is in effect whether it is posted or not. Exceptions
include: recreational towing where the boat follows a path
at a 90° angle to the shore in an area designated by buoys for
recreational towing; rivers less than 100 m (328) wide,
as well as canals and buoyed channels; and waters where another
speed limit is set in a schedule to the regulations. New restrictions
if you feel a restriction is needed in your area, read the local
authorities guide to Vessel operation restrictions at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
before your request can be added to the Vessel operation restriction
regulations, the need for the restriction must be assessed and public
consultations held at the local level. if successful, local authorities
are responsible for all sign and buoy maintenance and replacement,
including all costs. To learn more about the process, see the cabinet
Directive on Streamlining regulation at www.regulation.gc.ca. once
a vessel operation restriction is in place, it can be enforced (in
the form of tickets or summons) by: police officers; and
persons identified in the regulations.
Are you ready to deal with an emergency?
Do you know how to send a distress message?
calling early and knowing how to ask for help in an emergency can
make the difference between life and death.
This section explains some of the equipment you can use to call
for help and what to do in some emergencies. reading a restriction
Sign Vessel operation restriction signs come in five shapes.
The colour of the frame is international orange.
When part of a sign has a green border, a special condition applies
to the restriction.
The symbol tells you the type of restriction that applies. if the
sign is arrow-shaped, the restriction applies in the direction of
the arrow. Know what these signs mean. To learn more, check out
the Vessel operation restriction regulations a boaters
guide to Signage at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
on the Water in an emergency 63 in an emergency Emergency communications
reacting to an Emergency in an emergency emergency communications
Marine radio communications regulated marine radio communication
equipment includes: marine VhF radios (with the new Digital
Selective calling (DSc) option on channel 70); marine MF/hF
DSc radios; Emergency Position indicating radio beacons
(EPirbs); NaVTEX; and inmarsat. These products and
services work together to form the international system known as
the global Maritime Distress and Safety System (gMDSS). They quickly
relay distress alerts to the canadian coast guard and other vessels
in your area.
Pleasure craft do not have to carry gMDSS-compatible equipment,
but it is a good idea. if you have it, connect it to a global Positioning
System receiver to make sure that your exact location is automatically
sent in a digital distress alert in case of an emergency. This way,
rescuers will immediately know exactly where you are and will arrive
sooner. global Positioning System (gPS) While more and more boat
operators rely on marine gPS to tell them where they are on the
water, it is a good idea to keep charts on board in case the gPS
The gps is a worldwide radio- navigation system made possible by
a network of satellites and monitoring stations. its receivers can
calculate where you are, anywhere on the planet, to within 30 m
Coast Guard supplies a differential gps that provides an accuracy
of within 10 m (3210). if you are using gPS on the water,
make sure it is marine gPS. automotive gPS will not give you the
information you need on the water Marine VhF radio and the Maritime
Mobile Service identity (MMSi) Marine VhF radio is generally the
best way of sending a distress alert. if you have a VhF radio, keep
it tuned to channel 16. Know where you are at all times and be prepared
to describe your specific location. currently, all VhF marine radio
operators must have a restricted operator certificate (Maritime)
roc(M). industry canada has delegated the roc(M) to the canadian
Power & Sail Squadrons (cPS). contact the cPS or visit www.cps-ecp.ca
for more information about courses available in your area. if you
are buying a new VhF radio, make sure it has the new Digital Selective
calling (DSc) feature on channel 70. This provides automatic digital
The canadian coast guard provides DSC channel
service on the east and west coasts, as well as on the great lakes
and the St. lawrence river. remember, VhF radio channel 16 is used
for emergency and calling purposes only. once you contact another
vessel on channel 16, switch to another working frequency. VhF channel
70 is used only for DSc (digital) communication not voice.
Use your VhF radio as described in the VhF radiotelephone Practices
and Procedures regulations.
your owners manual will explain how to make a DSc call to
another vessel or to a shore station that has DSc capability.
To make a digital call, each radio must have a nine-digit Maritime
Mobile Service identity (MMSi) number.
These numbers are assigned free of charge by industry canada. Visit
www.ic.gc.ca or contact them for more information. calling for help
When in extreme danger (for example, your boat is taking on water
and you are in danger of sinking or capsizing), use your VhF radio
channel 16 and sayMayday MaydayMayday.
Then give the name of your boat, its position, the nature of your
problem and the type of help you need. if you need help but are
not in immediate danger (for example, your motor has quit and you
cannot reach shore), use channel 16 and sayPan PanPan
PanPan Pan.Then give the name of your boat,
its position, the nature of your problem and the type of help you
need. limits of a cell Phone While you may be able to get search
and rescue assistance from the nearest canadian coast guard Marine
communications and Traffic Services (McTS) centre by dialling *16
or #16 on a cell phone, it is not a good substitute for a marine
radio and this is not the best way to issue a distress call. Why
not? cell phones can lose reception or get wet and damaged.
calling from your cell phone does not alert nearby vessels
that you are in distress they could be the ones to help you
if they could hear you. Some cell phone signals cannot be
followed back to your location by rescuers. Not all cell
providers offer the *16 or #16 service. Find out if this service
is available for your phone.
Emergency Position indicating radio beacons
These floating radio distress beacons can transmit for hours.
They can be manually activated or can float free from a sinking
or overturned vessel.
Their signals give your position to a network of satellites, which
then sends it to Joint rescue coordination centres.
They play an important role in an emergency. although pleasure craft
are not required to carry them, they are a very good idea. as of
February 1, 2009, signals from 121.5/243 Mhz beacons are no longer
processed. as a result, only 406 Mhz beacons work on the water.
all beacon owners and users should replace their 121.5/243 Mhz beacons
with 406 Mhz beacons as soon as possible.
Emergency Position indicating radio beacons (EPirbs) must be registered
with the canadian beacon registry at www.beacons.nss.gc.ca.
remember to keep your contact information up to date.
in an emergency Distress Signals if you see a distress signal, the
law requires you to see if you can help without risking your life
or the safety of your boat. When possible, you must also contact
the nearest Joint rescue coordination centre to inform them of the
type and location of the distress signal you have seen. learning
the common distress signals will help you quickly recognize when
someone is in trouble so that you can place a call for help that
much faster. These signals are listed at the back of this guide.
Never send a distress signal unless you are in a real emergency.
Sending false distress signals is against the law. it wastes the
time of search and rescue personnel, and may prevent them from answering,
or take them farther away from, real emergencies. canadian coast
guard VhF/DSc radios can send distress alerts that tell the canadian
coast guard and nearby vessels that you reacting to an emergency
overboard recovery techniques in certain weather conditions, and
on some boats, its a good idea to wear a quick release safety
harness and a safety line secured to your boat.
This keeps you from falling overboard, unless your boat capsizes.
Knowing and practising the procedures below with your guests will
help them stay calm in an emergency. need help right away.
To find out where VhF/DSc services are available, visit www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
or contact a canadian coast guard Marine communications and Traffic
Services (McTS) centre.
McTS centres provide Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and a Maritime
Mobile Safety Service.
VTS provides traffic and waterway information to vessels via radio
When near a VTS area, listen to the local VTS radio frequency to
learn the intended movements of larger vessels.
McTS centres also provide a safety service that monitors international
distress and calling radio frequencies for distress calls and communications
They also continuously broadcast Notices to Shipping and weather
and ice reports on marine radio frequencies.
These are published along with the VTS sector frequencies in the
canadian coast guard publication radio aids to Marine Navigation.
you can access the most recent edition at www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca.
if someone falls overboard, sound the alarm and then: slow
down, stop if possible and throw something that floats to the person
(this will also mark the spot if they are under water); assign
someone to watch the person overboard; and carefully put
your boat in position to bring the person back on board.
Use a heaving line that floats, or a lifebuoy secured to the boat
with a line, and recover the person from the windward side. if needed,
you can secure both ends of a heavy rope, chain or cable to the
boat and drape it over the side (almost touching the water) as a
makeshift step. remember that if the vertical height that must be
climbed to reboard your boat from the water (freeboard) is over
0.5 m (18), you must have a reboarding device, such
as a ladder,
Boaters should know of, and be able to use, a few different methods
to recover someone who has fallen overboard.
They should also be able to decide which method to use based on
the condition of both the water and the person overboard. could
you get a person out of the water if they could not help you? if
you fell overboard, could your guests lift you to safety?
When someones size, or the freeboard of the boat, makes it
difficult to carry out a rescue by hand, it may be a good idea to
have lifting slings and rigging on board (if not already required
by the size of your boat).
Surviving in cold Water imagine that you are enjoying a warm day
on your boat. you get up to grab something.
Suddenly, you lose your balance and fall into water that is less
than 15°c. cold water can paralyze your muscles instantly.
Sadly, many people do not understand this danger and how important
it is to avoid it. cold water shock likely causes more deaths than
Canadas cold waters are especially dangerous when you fall
into them unexpectedly.
For three to five minutes, you will gasp for air. you could also
experience muscle spasms or a rise in your heart rate and blood
pressure. Worse yet, you could choke on water or suffer a heart
attack or a stroke.
Even strong swimmers can suffer the effects of cold water shock.
if you are wearing a lifejacket before falling into cold water,
it will keep you afloat while you gain control of your breathing
and prevent drowning from loss of muscle control.
Trying to grab a lifejacket while in the water, let alone putting
one on, will be very hard because of the changes your body will
be experiencing. if you survive the shock of cold water, hypothermia
is the next danger.
Hypothermia is a drop in your body temperature to below its normal
level because of being very cold for a long time. hypothermia affects
a persons control over muscles and thinking.
Someone who is exposed to cold water and becoming hypothermic might:
shiver, use slurred speech and become semi-conscious;
have a weak, irregular or no pulse; breathe slowly; in an
emergency lose control of body movements; behave in
ways that dont make sense; act confused and/or
sleepy; stop breathing; and become unconscious. if
you end up in the water, do everything you can to save your energy
and body heat.
Swim only if you can join others or reach safety.
Do not swim to keep warm. you may survive longer in cold water if
you: wear a canadian-approved lifejacket so that you will
not lose valuable energy trying to keep your head above water;
climb onto a nearby floating object to get as much of your body
out of or above the water as possible; cross your arms tightly
against your chest and draw your knees up close to your chest to
help you keep your body heat; and huddle with others with
chests close together, arms around mid to lower back, and legs intertwined.
If you have warning that your boat may sink, protect yourself from
the cold by wearing multiple light layers of dry clothing and a
water-or windproof outer layer under a lifejacket.
Extra protection from hypothermia includes: floater or survival
suits (full nose- to-toes lifejackets); anti-exposure worksuits
(lifejacket with a thermal protection rating); dry suits
(to be used with a lifejacket and a thermal liner); wet suits
(to be used with a lifejacket it traps and heat water against
the body); and immersion suits (to be used in extreme conditions
when abandoning a vessel).
Knowing how your safety equipment works, especially in water, is
a good idea.
Test it in a warm swimming pool or in calm water before you may
have to use it in an emergency.
For more information, or to see what really happens during cold
reacting to a Fire if you have a fire on board, make sure everyone
is wearing a lifejacket and use extinguishers to control the fire.
in case of a small fire, activate a fire extinguisher and aim it
at the base of the flames.
Sweep the discharge nozzle from side to side and for a few seconds
after the flames are completely out. otherwise, the fire may restart
and there might not be enough left in the extinguisher to put it
out again. if your boat is moving when a fire starts, position it
so the fire is downwind from you and stop the engine if it is safe
to do so under the weather conditions Even if your boat has an automatic
fire extinguishing system, it must also carry the required portable
extinguishers listed in the Equipment section.
More information on their care and maintenance is available from
Underwriters Laboratories of Canada
( ULC ) at www.ulc.ca
or the manufacturer.
Enforcement safety is a shared responsibility of canadian waterway
users and the organizations that govern them. boaters must operate
their boats safely.
This means you must learn and follow the rules that apply to your
boat, as well as to the waters where you will be boating.
This section provides an overview of the laws and regulations for
pleasure craft and related fines. Finally, it provides some good
information for visitors to canada.
Enforcement on the water boating laws and regulations fines visitors
to canada fines here is a list of some boating offences along with
the associated fines.
Boating offence fine;
operating vessel if you are under age $250 Failing to have proof
of competency on board $250 Failure to have the required pleasure
craft licence on board $250 altering/Defacing/removing hull serial
number $350 operating a boat in a careless manner, without due care
and attention for others $350 operating a vessel with safety equipment
not in good working order or not readily accessible and available
for immediate use $200 operating human-powered pleasure craft without
personal flotation devices or lifejackets of appropriate size for
each person on board ($200) (Plus $100 for each PFD or lifejacket
missing.) $200 + $100 operating a power-driven vessel without a
muffler that is in good working order $250 operating a vessel to
tow a person on water or in air without seating space on board for
every person being towed $250 operating a vessel to tow a person
on water or in air without a person on board other than the operator
keeping watch on every person being towed $250 operating a vessel
in a careless manner, without due care and attention or without
reasonable consideration for other persons $350 operating a vessel
in an unsafe manner $500
Not including administrative charges you should also know that some
boating offences can result in fines to both the operator of the
boat and to the person who allowed the operation of the boat.
An example of this would be allowing someone under the age of 16
to operate your PWC.
Fine amounts are subject to change from time to time. you can find
a complete list of boating offences and fines under the contraventions
regulations by visiting http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
Enforcement on the Water The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP),
provincial and municipal police forces and other authorized local
authorities enforce the laws that apply to boats.
They may inspect your boat and monitor your boating activities to
make sure that requirements are being met.
This may include checking for safety equipment, your Pleasure craft
operator card and careless operation on the water.
Transport canadas office of boating Safety helps boaters learn
about boating laws with the help of tools like this guide. however,
its important to remember that these laws only set minimum
Many boaters go above and beyond these laws to enhance the safety
of their boat and guests, and Transport canada encourages everyone
to do the same. boating laws and regulations enForcement canadas
criminal code applies to boating and makes activities like operating
a boat while impaired, failing to stop at the scene of an accident
and operating a boat that is not seaworthy, crimes.
The canada Shipping act, 2001 is the law that, along with its regulations,
governs pleasure craft. it includes the requirements of some international
agreements that govern the conduct of all vessels.
The most important regulations affecting pleasure craft under this
law include the: competency of operators of Pleasure craft
regulations; collision regulations; Small Vessel regulations;
Vessel operation restriction regulations; and regulations
for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and for Dangerous chemicals.
These and other boating regulations are available at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
Visitors to canada all boaters (both residents and visitors) on
canadian waters are expected to know and obey the rules that apply
however, if you are a non-resident of Canada and are operating a
boat in canadian waters, the exceptions below apply to you. operator
competency if you are a non-resident visiting canada with your boat,
you are not required to carry proof of competency on board as long
as your boat is in canada for less than 45 consecutive days. if
you do require proof of competency (because the above doesnt
apply or you want to operate a boat licensed or registered in canada),
then you may either use an operator card or similar proof of competency
issued by your home state or country, or procure a canadian proof
Either way, you must keep proof of residence on board with you at
Safety Equipment requirements Foreign boats (those that are licensed
or registered in a country other than canada) need to comply with
the equipment requirements of the country in which the boat is usually
kept. if you are a non-resident of canada operating a boat that
is licensed or registered in canada, the boat must meet canadian
safety equipment requirements. however, in either case, you may
bring your own lifejacket to use as long as it fits and meets the
requirements of your home country. looking for more information?
Have questions about something you read in this guide?
This section provides contact information for Transport canadas
office of boating Safety, as well as for some other organizations
mentioned in this guide. it also provides direct website links to
specific topics and publications on boating safety.
72 reFerence 73 Quick reference cards
Contact information marine and air search and rescue emergency telephone
numbers website links quick reference cards lateral buoys and standard
daybeacons also available at www.tc.gc.ca/transact.
Sail, Plan To make filing your sail plan easy, simply photocopy
this card and fill in the blanks.
Sail plan owner information;
Name: address: Telephone Number: Emergency contact Number: boat
information boat Name: licence or registration Number: Sail: Power:
length: Type: colour hull: Deck: cabin: Engine Type: Distinguishing
Features: radio channels Monitored: hF: VhF: MF: MMSi (Maritime
Mobile Ser vice identity) Number: Satellite or cellular Telephone
Number: Safety Equipment on board lifejackets (include number):
liferafts: Dinghy or Smallboat (include colour): Flares (include
number and type): otherSafetyEquipment:reFerence _Trip Details
These Details Every Trip Date of Departure: Time of Departure: leaving
From: heading To: Proposed route: Estimated Date and Time
of arrival: Stop over Point: Number of People on board: Search
and rescue Telephone Number: See p. 80 for your regional search
and rescue contact number.
Cardinal buoys and Special buoys rules of the road.
Contact information regional transport canada offices of boating
Safety if you have any questions after reading this guide, visit
the office of boating Safety website at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm
If you still have questions, contact your regional office (listed
For general information, you may also call the boating Safety infoline
Pacific (british columbia) 700-800 burrard Street Vancouver, british
columbia V6Z 2J8 Tel.: 1-604-666-2681
Prairie and Northern (alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, yukon, Northwest
Territories and Nunavut) 344 Edmonton Street P.o. box 8550 Winnipeg,
Manitoba r3c 0P6 Tel.: 1-888-463-0521
Ontario 100 Front Street South Sarnia, ontario N7T 2M4 Tel.: 1-877-281-8824
Quebec 901 cap-Diamant, room 253 Quebec, Quebec g1K 4K1 Tel.: 1-418-648-5331
atlantic (New brunswick, Prince Edward island and Nova Scotia) 45
alderney Drive, 11th Floor P.o. box 1013 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
b2y 4K2 Tel.: 1-800-387-4999, Atlantic (Newfoundland and labrador)
100 New gower Street, 7th Floor P.o. box 1300 St. Johns, Newfoundland
a1c 6h8 Tel.: 1-800-230-3693 Distress Signals
reFerence 78 reFerence 79
Other organizations canada border Services agency border information
outside canada: 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064 Service canada
Tel.: 1 800 o-canada (1-800-622-6232)
Transport canadas Vessel registration office Tel.: 1-877-242-8770
Environment canada Tel.: 1-877-789-7733 Email: email@example.com
canadian hydrographic Service Tel.: 1-866-546-3613 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
marine and air Search and rescue emergency telephone numbers
act smart and call early in an emergency.
The sooner your call, the sooner The St. lawrence Seaway Management
corporation Tel.: 1-613-932-5170 Email: email@example.com
Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons Tel.: 1-888-cPS-boaT (1-888-277-2628)
industry canada Tel.: 1-800-328-6189
canadian beacon registry Tel.: 1-800-727-9414
government of canada Publications Marine publications and regulations
Website links Transport canada
accredited course Providers Search by Province: www.apps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/4/pcoc-ccep/mn.aspx?lang=e
complete list: www.apps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/4/pcoc-ccep/cpl.aspx?lang=e
of boating Safety regulations for Pleasure craft www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-resources-regulationsmenu-1811.htm
acts and regulations;
canada Shipping act, 2001 www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-regulations/acts-2001c26.htm
Provincial and Territorial Transportation offices www.tc.gc.ca/aboutus/prov.htm
Transport canadas construction Standards for Small Vessels
(TP 1332E) www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety/tp/TP1332/menu.htm
Pleasure craft licence PCL
Transport canadas Vessel registration office www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety/oep/shipreg/registration/menu.htm
list of Marine Safety certificates recognized for the issuance of
a Pleasure craft operator card
Safety rules and Tips for Personal Watercraft (PWc)
Sea Kayaking Safety guide (TP 14726E) http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp-tp14726-menu-1098.htm
approved Products catalogue index http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/bulletins-2002-07-eng.htm
Finding the right Flotation Device for your child http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-paperwork-paperwork_operator-360.htm
Cabinet directive on streamlining regulation www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ri-qr/directive/directive01-eng.asp
reference help will arrive.
Pacific coast joint rescue coordination centre, Victoria 1-800-567-5111
great lakes and arctic joint rescue coordination centre
Trenton 1-800-267-7270 or 1-613-965-3870
St. lawrence river Maritime rescue Sub-centre Quebec 1-800-463-4393
Newfoundland and labrador coast Maritime rescue Sub-centre St. Johns
1-800-563-2444 or 1-709-772-5151
Maritimes coast Joint rescue coordination centre halifax 1-800-565-1582
The Vessel operation restriction regulations
A boaters guide to signage... http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-paperwork-paperwork_operator-360.htm
Industry canada MMSi information and application Forms (under
Canadian coast guard radio aids to Marine Navigation www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/eng/ccg/McTS_radio_aids
Contraventions regulations (click on Schedule i.1: canada Shipping
act, 2001) http://www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/
Canadian hydrographie Service www.charts.gc.ca
Dont forget your card!
Everyone who operates a motorized pleasure craft must carry proof
of competency on board at all times.
For more information on boating safety, visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm
To order any of these publications, contact:
Order desk multimedia products and services, Transport Canada (aara-MPS)
2655 lancaster road ottawa on. K1B 4L5
Tel.: 1-888-830-4911 (in North america), 613-991-4071 (other countries)
Everyone who operates a motorized pleasure craft must carry proof
of competency on board at all times.
For more information on boating safety, please visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm