Safety on the Water: Spring Reminders

Posted On: May 27, 2024

Tags: Featured , Live Here , Your Municipality

As the weather warms up and more residents and visitors take to the lake, we wanted to take some time to remind you of how you can stay safe and comfortable on the water.

The following information is shared from the Pacific Partners Boating Bulletin for May 2024, a safety publication shared by the Office of Boating Safety.



Lifejackets & PFDs

  • You are required by law to have a lifejacket or PFD (personal flotation device) on board for each person on a watercraft.
    • This includes human-powered craft.
    • Wearing a flotation device can save your life.
    • Pick a lifejacket or PFD that you will want to wear while boating.
    • Lifejackets and PFDs are made in a variety of different styles to fit a wide range of different activities.
  • Make sure that whatever flotation device you decide on meets the requirements:
    • They must be approved by Transport Canada (TC), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, or the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG).
    • Life jackets or PFDs need to be in good condition
    • They must fit properly.
  • What is the difference between a lifejacket and a PFD?

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs):

Designed to flip you over and hold your airway out of the water if you were unconscious.

Are inherently buoyant PFDs or inflatable PFDs.

Sold only in highly visible colors to assist with rescue.

They are designed to keep you afloat, but not necessarily to flip you over.

Built for specific emergency-use, not necessarily comfortability.

Sold in a variety of colors for different activities (hunting and fishing included).


Come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different activities.


Built for comfort – should be worn at all times around the water

  • A lifejacket is your best defense against cold-water shock.
    • Research shows that unexpected immersion in cold water is a serious risk to life if a boater is not wearing a flotation device. This is true despite the boater's experience, closeness to shore, and even swimming ability.
    • A sudden fall into cold water can seriously affect breathing, nerves and muscle strength.
    • A lifejacket keeps you buoyant.
  • For added safety when wearing a lifejacket:
    • Choose a lifejacket or PFD that is brightly coloured.
    • Attach a whistle to your lifejacket or PFD, so you can call for help.
    • Remember that three loud consecutive blasts is the international distress call.

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