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Tips for Safe Boating

It’s almost springtime and most probably the water temperatures will start to rise to make it favorable for water sports. As many individuals who participate in various water activities get ready to head out and take part in their water sport of their choice, we want to highlight tips of safe boating in BC waters. As the Pilot job is 24/7, this season welcomes the cruise ships again which adds to traffic on our waters.

To make sure that you have a safe and fun experience, here are tips for safe boating:

Plan your trip

It’s important to know your route, use official nautical charts and be aware of tides and current. It is also necessary to indicate the number of people on your boat and emergency contact, leave the information with someone at home or a close friend who knows about your planned boating trip.

Be aware of shipping lanes

Now that you have planned your trip and are ready to be in the waters, it is vital to watch for other water users and vessels. Being aware of shipping lanes is key here. Larger vessels are normally on certain speed levels and most likely won’t see you until it’s pretty close or when it’s too late to react and avoid accidents. A safe speed allows safe sailing and adequate time to respond should dynamics in the water change within a short notice.

Do not mix alcohol and boating

Being out in the water while under influence is illegal and dangerous! One must always be alert and be prepared to react when faced with a situation while in the water. Using alcohol or drugs can cause impairment which not only brings harm to yourself but also endangers other water users. Remember to check on your province rules on impairment limits, when you can drink alcohol on a boat and carrying alcohol on a boat from one location to another.

Know you Vessel

Knowing your vessel and its capabilities especially if it’s a new boat is significant. Avoid taking a new boat out to unknown waters and if otherwise, get someone local who understands the area and the water very well. This will increase your performance and enable you to get back to the shore should the water turn rough.

Have your boating license

Ensure you have a license to operate a pleasure craft as required by Transport Canada. For more information check out Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide here

As we continue to dedicate ourselves to keeping 15,000 miles of the province’s waters safe, ensuring the safe transportation of goods that support communities, our provincial and national economies, we hope to see you out in the water practicing safe boating.