OTTAWA, May 21, 2011 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today marked the start of North American Safe Boating Awareness Week 2011 by reminding Canadian boaters that there are many simple ways they can help to prevent accidents and tragedies on the water this year.

"This weekend marks the beginning of boating season across the country and of Safe Boating Awareness Week all across North America," said Minister Lebel. "On behalf of our government, I would like to remind all those taking to the water that simple measures like wearing a life-jacket and being prepared before heading out can prevent needless tragedies."

The Minister also reminded Canadians of the following tips for safe boating:

  • Always ensure that you and your guests wear a life-jacket that fits properly.
  • If you are operating a motorized boat, carry proof of competency and, as applicable, a pleasure craft licence on board at all times.
  • Take a boating safety course.
  • Carry the required safety equipment for your boat such as paddles, a bailer, flashlight, buoyant line, anchor, etc.
  • Keep clear of swimmers, divers and other boats.
  • Navigate your boat on the correct side of the buoy.
  • Wear proper clothing and check the weather forecast before heading out.
  • Do not drink alcohol and boat.

In particular, recreational boaters should remember that if they operate a motorized pleasure craft, they must carry proof of competency such as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Boaters need to pass an accredited boating safety test in order to obtain the card. Transport Canada recommends taking a boating safety course as the best preparation for the test.

Recreational boaters must also have a pleasure craft licence and/or registration if their vessel's engine is of 10 horsepower or more. Canoes, kayaks, small sailing vessels and small motorboats with engines of less than 10 horsepower do not have to be licensed or registered.

A list of boating safety course providers and further information about licensing/registration is available at All boaters, divers, anglers, hunters and water sports enthusiasts are encouraged to check out this site for more valuable information and updates before heading out on the water.

North American Safe Boating Awareness Week 2011 runs from May 21 to 27. For more information, please visit the Canadian Safe Boating Council's website at

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This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities. 

SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information:

Office of the Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities
  Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa


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