All Canadian operators of pleasure craft fitted with any type of
motor and used for recreational purposes are required to carry
proof of competency, such as the Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO)
Proof of competency is not required in the waters of Nunavut and
Northwest Territories at this time. Visit the Boating section of the
website for more info about regulations and the PCO card.
Additional key boating safety tips include:
- Check the forecast. Return to shore in bad weather or rough
- Be prepared. Check the condition of your boat and ensure you
have sufficient fuel.
- Don't speed. Drive power boats responsibly.
- Carry a cell phone or VHF radio.
- Stay seated. It's easy to fall out of a small boat, canoe or
- Obey all signs and buoys - especially around dams and
- Tell someone where you are going and when you will be
CSBC position statement
The Society is an active participant on the Canadian Safe
Boating Council's PFD Taskforce and endorses the CSBC position:
That all operators and passengers be required to wear
lifejackets or PFDs when they are in all sizes and types of kayaks,
canoes and self-propelled vessels and all other types of craft that
are 6 m. or less in length, while passengers are on deck and while
the boat is underway.
Learn to Swim
Basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any
meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. The Lifesaving
Society offers training programs from learn-to-swim through advanced lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership.
Our Swim for
Life program stresses lots of in-water practice to develop
solid swimming strokes and skills. We incorporate valuable Water
Smart® education that will last a lifetime.
Survive is a Lifesaving Society survival training program. Swim
to Survive is not a subsititute for swimming lessons; instead, it defines the
minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep
water. People of all ages should be able to perform the Society's
Swim to Survive standard.