There are many aspects to boating and water safety, however if you can only take away a few main ideas, here are the key messages that will help you be safe on, in and the water.

PREPARE IT

 WEAR IT 

KNOW IT

 SHARE IT

BRING THE ESSENTIALS 

 Being prepared also means having the right gear. Use a Pre-Departure Checklist to ensure you have the right equipment with you before you go out on the water.


TRIP PLAN

Always make a plan and leave it with a responsible person before you go. If no one knows you are gone, no one will be looking for you.


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Being informed is just as important as being prepared. Knowing the risks and open water hazards involved with the activities you take part in may help prevent an incident from occuring.


GET PROPERLY TRAINed

Obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) by taking an accredited boat operator training course.  


Don't Cruize With Booze

More than 50% of those who died last year while boating discovered too late that even one alcoholic drink can affect balance, slow reaction time and impair ability to think clearly.

  • Wait until you are off the water before consuming alcohol.
  • Don’t allow a person who has consumed alcohol to operate a boat.
  • Provide non-alcoholic beverages for boat operators and passengers. Non-alcoholic drinks ensure everyone is alert in case of emergency.
  • Wear approved lifejackets or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs).
  • Remember, alcohol is a factor in half of all boating fatalities.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT LIFEJACKET

When it comes to choosing a PFD, the Canadian Coast Guard strongly recommends bright colours for better visibility.  PFDs are now available in many bright colours and activity appropriate styles. Just check the label to ensure that the PFD is approved by the Canadian Coast Guard.


CHECK THE SIZE

Choose a PFD that is comfortable and allows free movement, including walking and sitting. Try it on and do up all zippers and belts. Pull up on the collar to ensure it does not ride up and        interfere with movement or breathing.


CHECK THE CONDITION

Inspect your PFD or lifejacket frequently.  Ensure seams are intact, and that snaps, belts or zippers work.  If you happen to chose an inflatable type PFD be aware that certain restrictions and criteria apply.


CAUGHT YOU WEARING IT

PHOTO CONTEST

Post a photo of you in your favorite PFD or lifejacket on the waters of B.C. and tag @WaterWise Team for a chance to win weekly prizes. 


be visible

Make sure you can be seen on the water. Even in bright, calm conditions a canoe or kayak can be nearly invisible. It is especially difficult for power vessel operators riding high in the water to see these vessels. Choose bright colours such as red, yellow, or orange for your vessel and also for your flotation device. In addition, remember to keep signalling devices within hand’s reach in case of emergency.


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Sea kayakers should be aware of their environment (water temperatures, tides, currents, wind, and maritime traffic) at all times.


SWIM WITH A BUDDY

Most drowning victims were found boating alone. 


 

PROMOTE

Involve local media, community advertising, social networking, and share with the Lifesaving Society. 


ENGAGE

Get involved! Host an event at your facility for National Drowning Prevention Week.  Participate in our Swim To Survive program. Recruit community leaders and volunteers to promote safety in and around the water.


SHARE

Show us how you and your school or facility are WaterWise! Participate in our #CaughtYouWearingIt contest, our new #CaughtYouSharingIt contest, highlight success stories, and continue to share your experiences with the Team.