Because spring has arrived and the snow is beginning to clear, the circumstances for operating a Transport Canada watercraft will change, and you will need to adapt along with them. The frigid weather caused the low water levels that occurred during winter, but now that the weather is getting milder, the warming and the overflow from the snow that is dissolving will cause the water levels to increase. The increased water flow may increase the danger of inundation in waterways, which may cause river obstructions, cause vessels to run aground, or even result in injury or death.
Before venturing out onto the waterways of Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency advises sailors to ensure they are adequately equipped for any potential dangers they may encounter, including shallow water areas, residue, and water currents. Navigating safely requires vigilantly avoiding all of these potential dangers. This season, here are some safety reminders and navigational pointers to help you stay on track:
Check Your Boat Before You Go Out On the Water
Transport Canada stresses the importance of routine watercraft upkeep for boaters’ safety. If you own a watercraft, you should routinely inspect its motor, gasoline, and batteries and repair any old or broken components. If you want to ensure that your motor, spark, rotor, and links between them are in excellent operating order, you should run it while you’re still on land.
When out on the ocean, this could keep something catastrophic from occurring. Get someone familiar with the boat and its secure operation to ride with you and show you the ropes. Users must be regular with the ship’s systems before operating them. This will make your time on the water safer and more enjoyable, and it may even save your life if a mishap occurs and you need assistance or attempt to recover.
Wear a Lifejacket While On Board As Required By the Transport Canada
Warmer weather means boat owners are more likely to take their boats out on the lake, and Transport Canada wants to stress the importance of complying with the law by always having passengers don lifejackets. Wearing a lifejacket is always required while on a boat, regardless of whether or not you intend to venture far from land or engage in high-energy activities like waterskiing or windsurfing.
Wearing a lifejacket becomes second nature during physical activity, but forgetting about it afterward is simple. Remember that being at rest doesn’t mean you’re out of harm’s way entirely. Even if your boat is securely moored, you should always have your lifejacket near at hand in case of an unexpected capsize. How do you deal with a capsized boat? Don’t freak out! If you don’t have a lifejacket on, stay calm, take hold of something sturdy (like a handrail or a bench), and wait for assistance from someone else to get off securely.
Keep Children Away From the Water
Make sure that the toddlers are kept away from the ocean. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a child left unsupervised has a high risk of falling into the water and, once submerged, will have a difficult time escaping. Unfortunately, children who are allowed to play unattended near water cause a significant number of watercraft incidents.
If you are required to leave a child unattended on the boat, please take the necessary precautions to ensure that they are wearing a life device and that you have instructed them on what to do if they drown. It is important to remember to secure anything that has the potential to become a projectile if it falls overboard. Even something seemingly harmless as an empty pop could cause harm if it were hurled at other vessels or swimmers.
Plan Your Route Before You Head Out
Be sure you know where you’re heading and how long it will take you to get there before you leave the pier. The last thing you want is to head out for a day on the water only to find yourself disoriented and need to be more knowledgeable about your location. Asking another person for assistance planning your journey is another good idea. Have that person look at a chart or a map so that they can assist you in determining which route to take and how long it will take. If something were to happen to you while you were traveling, they would then be able to assist you in determining where you are and, if necessary, help you summon assistance.
The National Vessel Registry Center can help you with all your vessel registration needs. We’re open year-round, and our friendly staff can answer any questions about your registration or vessel safety inspection.