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A boat on the water

Boating is a great recreational activity for you to enjoy with your family and friends. However, boating safety needs to be top of mind. The York Regional Police Marine Unit wants to remind residents of the importance of staying safe when enjoying any recreational activity near a body of water. If you make smart, educated choices and adhere to the following safety tips, accidents can be prevented.

  • Know the laws and regulations and take a boating safety course
  • Inspect your boat before heading out on the water. Make sure you have all the proper equipment and there are no leaks or damage
  • Make sure everyone on board has a proper fitting life jacket or personal flotation device
  • Keep extra fuel on hand
  • Wear proper floatation attire
  • Don't boat or fish alone
  • Tell someone about your plans and specifically where you are going
  • Bring good sunglasses, sunscreen and appropriate clothing
  • Paddles, whistles and flares should be part of the kit on your vessel
  • Ensure you have a cellphone with a fully charged battery in the event of an emergency
  • Operate your watercraft at a safe speed as you may have to stop or turn suddenly to avoid a collision
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions and drive with extreme caution and proper lights after dark
  • Consider visibility conditions, the fog, mist, rain and darkness, including wind, water conditions, currents and any navigational hazards (rocks and tree stumps)  
  • Be courteous of others using the waterways and obey all boating rules
  • Keep an eye out for swimmers and other boaters, and always have a spotter for those water-skiers and tube riders

Finally, do not drink while operating a boat. If you are convicted of impaired operation of a boat, you will lose the ability to operate any motorized vehicle, including cars and motorcycles. Watch our Smartboater video to see the effects of alcohol on your boating abilities.