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The Journal Pioneer
What better way to spend a summer day than out on the water with family and friends? With summer in full force and staycations picking up, Atlantic Canadians are spending more time on the water than ever. Whether it’s in speed boats, kayaks, paddleboards, or anything that floats, keep these boating tips, provided by Boating License Nova Scotia and Discover Boating Canada, in mind for your next aquatic adventure.
Check your surroundings
Before heading out, be sure to check the weather to avoid getting stuck in a storm. While on the water, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and keep a watchful eye on all members of your group. If you’re operating a motorized vehicle, be sure to travel at safe speeds and be cautious of others in the water.
Pack a bag
Discover Boating Canada provides a helpful checklist of things you have to take with you before hopping on board. Appropriate-sized lifejackets for each passenger are required to be on board, and it is strongly recommended that you wear them at all times. Sound signaling devices such as a whistle or horn are also mandatory. Other important items for larger vessels include a flashlight, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher. If you’re boating with pets, consider bringing a first aid kit specifically designed for them. Be cautious of heatstroke and what it looks like in pets. Be sure to bring their lifejacket and fresh water for them to drink.
Do you know what to do if your boat capsizes? Have you taught the kids on board how to react if they slip into the water? Take the time to familiarize yourself with safety precautions, but also prepare for the unexpected. If an event occurs, being well prepared will help you respond safely and avoid accidents or injuries.
Don’t drink and boat
Boating under the influence is illegal in Canada. It is important for all those on board to be alert and in control. All passengers should listen to the owner and crew members of the boat and respect their instructions and rules, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Remember, boating licenses are required to operate any motorized vessel in Atlantic Canada. It takes a minimum of 3-5 hours to complete the boating license course form, after which you’ll be granted a Pleasure Craft Operator Card and can hit the water.
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network