Canadian Boating Safety Course

Chapter 1

Whether you’re fishing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, or just going for a tour around the lake, boating is one of Canada’s most pleasurable and popular outdoor activities. But operating a motorized watercraft is also a big responsibility. Your safety and that of other boaters depends on your responsible operation. This boating safety course is an important first step to making sure your time on the water stays fun-filled.

Over the years, boating safety education has made a big impact in the number of boating accidents and fatalities in Canada. According to the Lifesaving Society, between 1997 and 2007 (the last year that we have complete statistics), the number of drowning deaths related to power boating decreased from an average of 96 to 60 fatalities per year—a reduction of almost 40%! That is an amazing improvement. But we can still do better.

How can we do better? By treating boating safety as our number one priority at all times. That means understanding the proper way to operate a motorized watercraft, which is something you will learn in the following chapters. It also means knowing the risk factors associated with boating.

The number one cause of boating related fatalities is not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket. Between the years of 2005 and 2007, 80% of drowning victims were not wearing a properly fitted PFD. So, we can vastly reduce the risks associated with boating by doing one simple thing: wearing a PFD.

Other boating safety hazards you will learn about in the course include boating under the influence, falling overboard, rough water, and capsizing in cold water. By knowing the risk factors and taking the appropriate precautions, you can stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the beauty of Canada’s outdoors.

This course will provide you with an easy to follow, common-sense approach to power boating, all of the tools you need to enjoy the water safely, and to get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Thank you on behalf of for helping us continue to make our waters safer.