For the boater who enjoys cruising across Canada’s many beautiful lakes and bays at breakneck speed, nothing beats a PWC. Whether you use your PWC for racing, exploration or any other type of aquatic recreation, there’s no denying that these speedy little boats are tons of fun. However, when not handled properly, they can also be quite dangerous.
Statistically, PWCs are involved in more accidents than any other type of boat in Canada and, because of their high speed and lack of protection for operators, injuries and deaths are commonly sustained in collisions. Continue reading to learn some important safety tips for operating your PWC while avoiding life-threatening accidents.
Top 5 Tips to Stay Safe on Your PWC
- Control Your Speed – The fastest PWCs on the market can zip across the water at speeds of over 40kmh. As tempting as it can be to try to gun your personal watercraft at maximum speed, this will inevitably lead to dangerous situations where you might need to stop or turn abruptly and be unable to. To avoid life-threatening accidents, it’s best to limit your PWC to speeds around 25kmh. This way, if you suddenly enter shallow water or realize another boat is on a collision course, you’ll have ample time to stop or steer yourself to safety.
- Wear Safety Gear – It is required by Canadian law that any boat, even a PWC, carry a life jacket for each person onboard. As tempting as it may be to ride your PWC in nothing but a wetsuit, having a life jacket on can save your life if you are ejected from your boat in deep water, especially if you lose consciousness in the collision. If you plan on operating your PWC at high speeds, you may also want to consider wearing a watercraft helmet, which can protect you from traumatic head injury if you get into an accident.
- Give Other Boats a Wide Berth – When boating in Canada, it is always important to avoid passing too close to other boats on the water; this is doubly important if you’re operating a PWC! Because PWCs are so small, the operators of other boats may not see them coming and crash into them, a collision which will end very badly for a PWC and its riders. Aside from the danger of a collision, waves kicked up by larger boats may be big enough to knock a PWC off-course or even capsize it.
- Don’t Go Out in a Storm – One of the best safety tips for operating any kind of boat is to check the weather before you go out. A violent storm poses a threat to even the biggest watercraft and, because they are small and prone to capsizing, PWCs are especially vulnerable. If a thunderstorm with strong winds is anticipated, keep your PWC out of the water. This is especially vital at sea, where gigantic waves can appear seemingly out of nowhere when a storm approaches.
- Never Operate While Inebriated – As is the case with any watercraft, operating a PWC under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous. If you operate a PWC while intoxicated, your reaction times will be slowed, your vision will be impaired and your ability to handle the watercraft will be inhibited, all of which greatly increases the risk of a deadly crash. If you are ejected from your PWC, the risk of drowning is much higher for an intoxicated boater as well.
Dock Your PWC With Roll-n-Go
After a fun day of water sports in your PWC, you can bring it back on land using Innovative Outdoors’ Roll-n-Go On-Shore Docking System. Roll-n-Go comes in many sizes, including a model designed specifically to accommodate PWCs. If you’re interested in purchasing a PWC ramp from Roll-n-Go to be used anywhere in Canada, contact us today!