September 04, 2009 17:50 ET

Boaters: Stay Safe During the Labour Day Weekend

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 4, 2009) - Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird would like to take this opportunity to remind boaters across the country of the following safety tips to help keep everyone safe on Canada's waterways during the Labour Day long weekend:

1) Wear a lifejacket: Today's lifejackets are comfortable, slim-fitting and stylish - no more bulky, orange life preservers. Approximately 90 per cent of victims in boating accident fatalities were not wearing a lifejacket. Have a lifejacket or personal flotation device for each person onboard your vessel.

2) Be prepared: Anything can happen on the water. Before you head out, make sure to:

- Tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back, even if you're out for just a few hours. Leave a trip plan with a responsible person, and carry your marine charts;

- Check that all necessary equipment is in good working order. Check lines, flares, flashlight, bilge pump or bailer, navigation lights, paddles, anchor, fire extinguisher, whistle or horn, and lifejackets; and,

- Check the weather forecast. Once under way, keep your eye on the sky. Watch for rapidly changing weather and water conditions and seek shelter if necessary.

3) Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card: As of September 15, 2009, everyone who operates a motorized boat must carry proof of competency on board.

4) Remember: Be safe; boat and ride sober: Boating while impaired is a criminal offence. You can be fined and sentenced up to 90 days or have your boating licence suspended. Check with the appropriate provincial authorities (OPP for Ontario, SQ for Quebec, RCMP for all other provinces and territories) for more information.

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Contact Information

  • Chris Day
    Press Secretary
    Office of Canada's Transport Minister
    John Baird, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa