Canoeing, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding are great ways to explore new waters, a great low impact exercise and an easy way to relax and enjoy the great outdoors and experience what nature has to offer. But first and foremost we must always put safety first.
According to the Canadian Coast Guard, these are the minimum requirements when operating a Canoe, Kayak or SUP less than 6 m:
Personal Protection Equipment
- one Canadian-approved personal flotation device (pfd) or lifejacket of appropriate size for each person on board
- one buoyant heaving line of not less than 15 m in length (floating rope)
Boat safety equipment
- one manual propelling device (paddle)
- one bailer or one manual water pump (bucket or bilge pump)
- Stand Up Paddleboards require the use of a leash at all times
- a sound-signaling device or a sound-signaling appliance (whistle)
- navigation lights if the pleasure craft is operated after sunset and before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility (flashlight)
The Community Services Department also strongly recommends the following safety procedures:
- Your safety kit should remain with the boat at all times and be within reach.
- PFD should fit properly. Buckles and zippers must be closed at all times.
- There may be a chance your boat capsizes. Make sure you have adequate swimming skills. Know or learn how to safely get back into your boat.
- If your experience is limited, take a lesson or paddle with experienced people who can teach you the skills required.
- Review safe boating areas and techniques. Stay away from motor boat channels and do not go near rapids.
- Review the maximum number of paddlers per craft. Do not overload your boat.
- Paddle with other people and always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return