Jun 12, 2017 – Safe Boating – Know the Laws – Breaking Them Could be Costly
Here is an outline of boating (vessel) offence excerpts from the Criminal Code, Canada Shipping Act and Ontario Liquor License Act. They were sourced using the online applications, BOATsmart and Shield Basic Ontario and the web site of Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Read here.
May 29, 2017 – What to do about missing or out of place channel markers, faded reflectors, etc.
If you notice a missing or out of place channel marker, damaged red triangle or black square or faded reflectors on any of these you should report this information to the Canadian Coast Guard in Parry Sound. You should include as much information as possible including buoy numbers, name of channel or specific location and details of the problem you are reporting. Written notes can be sent to;
Canadian Coast Guard
Aids to Navigation,
28 Waubeek street,
Parry Sound, ON, P2A 1B9
or phone into 705-773-4322
May 16 Cottage Opening
The May long weekend is almost upon us! The Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations
have compiled the following list of 10 Safety Tips to remind people to make safety a priority getting to and while at the cottage.
Here are the top 10 safety tips as you prepare to head up to the cottage, and after you get there.
- Check your car’s lights, signals, tire pressure and fluids before the trip to the cottage.
- Check your first-aid kit and replace any missing supplies.
- Check and maintain cottage smoke detectors and CO detectors.
- Check the condition of boat(s), including fuel lines and tanks. Check that all required safety equipment is on board and in good repair.
- Remove dry leaves and debris from the cottage roof and/or eavestroughs to reduce fire risk.
- Prepare for extreme weather events — create a family emergency preparedness plan for the cottage.
- Assemble a disaster safety kit for your cottage and car.
- Talk to your neighbours — plan ahead for emergencies by identifying vulnerable people and potential community volunteers.
- Talk to your insurance representative to review your cottage, car, and boat coverage.
- Pass along these tips to friends, family and neighbours.
“Start off the cottage season right by following these tips,” says Terry Rees, Executive Director of FOCA. “And carry on with the habit of checking them throughout
the year, to help ensure we all have a safe and enjoyable cottage experience.”
April 30 Safe Boating Awareness
Since 1995 the Canadian Safe Boating Council has been conducting the Transport Canada sponsored safe boating awareness week campaign.
It has been a mainstay of boating safety outreach to the millions of Canadians who recreate on our waters each year.
At the core of the 2017 campaign are the 5 key messages :
– wear a PDF or lifejacket
– don’t drink and boat
– take a boating course
– be prepared, both you and your vessel
– be wary of the dangers of cold water immersion
To learn more go to the Canadian Safe Boating Council web site at www.csbc.ca
April 30 Flares
In the spring of 2016 the Canadian Marine Advisory Council proposed that there be public consultation on changes to the Small Vessel Regulations. “Subject to certain exceptions, the Small Vessel Regulations require all vessels over 6 meters to carry flares on bodies of water where they can be more than one nautical mile from shore.” For now it is the law that they be carried and also be replaced when they expire.
Concern has been expressed by the recreational boating community and enforcement agencies over the difficulty of dealing with expired flares and the environmental impact resulting from their disposal. Also the number of flares required by legislation was seen by many as excessive especially because of improvements in electronic communications and search and rescue alert systems among other reasons.
Transport Canada is proposing an option to reduce the number of flares for multiple vessel categories by 50%.
“The proposed amendments would allow a 50 percent reduction in the number of each type of flare required to be carried if the vessel [is being operated within   nautical miles from shore and] is equipped with a means of two-way radio communication, a 406 MHz PLB or EPIRB. In addition, the proposed amendments include additional options for the carriage of some smoke signals
as an alternative to handheld or rocket flares for vessels operating primarily in daylight.”
This proposal is slated to go to Canada Gazette Part 1 soon for initial review and comments. The next step is to go to Canada Gazette Part 2 when it becomes law. The timing will depend on the number and type of comments received from the public as well as the schedule of other regulatory changes proposed by other departments. So for now it is a matter of wait and see what changes they ultimately make and when they take effect. We will monitor the process.
It should also be noted that the U.S. Coast Guard allows the use of some electronic flares – a great option that is more environmentally friendly, reduces the hassle of disposal and replacement and will cost less over time. They are in the process of developing standards for these devices. Transport Canada has said unofficially that if the U.S. Coast Guard develops a standard for these devices, they will consider it as well.
In the meantime the current laws apply. If you have any doubt as to your compliance contact Transport Canada or check out the Small Vessel Regulations at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2010-91/.
Go to the safety equipment section.
Mar 27 Flare Disposal CPS
The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons are excited to announce their partnership with Transport Canada and CIL Dealers to undertake a project on education and awareness of safety equipment, the care and maintenance of that equipment and how to safely and effectively use and dispose of flares.
If your flares have a manufacture date of 2013 or earlier they have or will expire this year. You cannot light them or throw them in the water or throw them in your household garbage to dispose of them. Dealers are hosting Safety Equipment Education and Flare Disposal Days. On these days, you will be offered the opportunity to learn about required safety equipment and you can bring your outdated flares to be properly disposed of, free of charge.
In accordance with Transport Canada requirements, flares are approved for four years from the date of manufacture. Typically, this means that you need to replace your flares every third or fourth boating season. If they have expired or will expire during this boating season, you must replace them… it’s the law!
Mar 27 Cottage Owners responsibility
First, check with your insurance company – are there any issues?
If a cottage owner still chooses to make a boat available to a person renting a cottage they should be aware and ensure:
1) that anyone operating a boat with any type of motor must have proof of competency onboard for those that will operate the boat.
2) that the boat is sea worthy. Its against the law to knowingly allow any boat deemed unseaworthy to be taken out on the water. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/FullText.html
3) that any boat with 10 hp or more is licenced with the proper markings on the bow and that the proper documentation is onboard.
4) that the boat has all required safety equipment onboard and that it is in good working order.
5) that it would be a good idea to include charts of the area, information about local marinas, and the numbers for the OPP and Coast Guard for assistance if needed.
Proof of Competency
The cottage owner must ensure that those who will be operating a power boat provided by the cottage owner have proof of competency. There are different forms of acceptable proof.
The most common form is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
For US citizens please note that Transport Canada has reciprocity agreements regarding competency with some US States.
From the Transport Canada Website : “For non-residents, proof of competency can take one of three forms:
- A Canadian-issued pleasure craft operator card.
- A completed boat rental safety check-list (for power-driven rental boats).
- An operator card or equivalent that meets the requirements of their state or country.”
Its the cottage owners job to determine if competency requirements are met.
If there is any doubt contact Transport Canada.
the following links lists the acceptable proof of competency:
Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations:
Small Vessel Regulations:
Mar 7 Safe Boating App
Going boating? Boat Safely from Port to Port.
Just launched! The Discover Boating Safety app is only available in Canada and designed to keep you, your friends and family safe when you’re out on the water. It has all the info, tips and tools you need for boating safely in Canada, including navigation buoys, checklists, emergency contacts and much more.
Some features of the Discover Boating Safety app include:
- Be prepared! A pre-boat launch section provides several handy checklists to help make departures a breeze. It provides the minimum legally required boat safety equipment for every boat type or length, passenger briefing notes, basic boating safety suggestions, a handy trailering checklist and more.
- Plan your trip! Every boater knows to check the weather before they leave land. With guidelines on what to look for, links to active online marine forecasts as well as national radio and phone services, boaters can easily check the latest weather before departing. An interactive easy to use float plan builder provides a summary of your boat, crew and trip details that every boater should send to someone staying on shore just in case of emergency.
- Reference Guide! Filled with everything from lifejacket basics to visual references for navigation buoys and more, this section has the most information and will be referenced time and again. It includes links to rules and regulations and best practices for a variety of topics.
- What do to in an Emergency! This section includes safety procedures as well as contact numbers for Search and Rescue, RCMP, and most municipal marine police units. Boaters should take the time to review all aspects of this section well before they leave.
It works online, offline and offshore. You can find further details at www.discoverboating.ca/appsandtools.aspx and the app is available for free from the Apple and Google Play stores by searching for the app name, Discover Boating Safety. It is available in English and French as of January 2017 and will be available in Mandarin in 2018.