Safe Boating, Responsible Boating and Sharing the Waterways

The operator of a pleasure craft will take the following actions in the presence of other persons or properties of the shared waterways activities:

stay well clear of swimmers and properties;
adjust the speed of the craft so that the draw-off and the wave disturbance generated by the passage of the craft avoid making injuries to persons, erosion of the shoreline or damage to the properties;
follow collision regulations, and
use courtesy and common sense so as not to create a hazard, a threat, a stress or an irritant to themselves, to others, to the environment or to wildlife.

Boaters should know that it is an offence to put oil, garbage or other pollutants into the water, either accidentally or with willful intent, and not report it immediately to the Canadian Coast Guard. No matter where you boat, it is a good environmental practice and a courtesy to others who use the same waterways to dispose of your black water at a pump-out facility. Check with local authorities if any “NO DUMP” zones exist when planning your trip.

Top ten green boating tips:

Keep your bilge clean – don’t pump oily water overboard
Use bilge sorbents in place of detergents
Don’t pump sewage in confined waters – use a holding tank
Observe local and federal sewage regulations
Bring your garbage home – don’t litter
Use detergents sparingly, even “biodegradable” cleaners are hard on the aquatic environment
When fueling, don’t top off tanks, clean up any spilled fuel
Use only paints approved for marine use
Avoid shoreline erosion, watch your wake and propeller wash
If fishing, practice catch and release



have a spotter on board
there must be a seat available for each person being towed in case recovery is necessary. Only personal watercraft designed to carry 3 or more people can be used for towing water-skiers
towing activities are not allowed in the period from one hour after sunset to sunrise
the towing vessel cannot be remotely controlled. Other considerations for safeguarding the person being towed, do not run parallel to the shore in shallow water to drop the person off: keep your distance and let the person swing in to the shore. When picking up someone who has fallen into the water while being towed, turn off the engine before approaching closely

Alcohol and boating safety can have serious legal implications; in many jurisdictions it is an offence for persons to operate a vessel when their ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or while the alcohol concentration in their bloodstream is more then 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood. The effects of alcohol on your body;

your balance which is more unstable to begin with when boating, since you are on a moving platform
your judgement, by reducing your inhibitions, alcohol causes normally cautious people to take more risks
your reaction times, peripheral vision, focus and depth perception all suffer when you are impaired

For a safe and enjoyable outing:

wait until the end of the boating day to start drinking
never allow a person under the influence of alcohol to operate your boat. Remember, you are responsible for the safety of your passengers and crew
make non-alcoholic beverages available
encourage people to wear their life jackets or PFD’s
learn the rules of the road and obey them
carry the required safety equipment for your vessel