Whenever you go out on the water, it’s important to be prepared. Inclement weather and engine malfunctions can leave your boat stranded on open water. An unexpected collision with another boat can cause yours to sink. While such worst case scenarios are rare as long as you follow boating safety guidelines, it’s still smart to bring along all the safety equipment you might need.
There are a number of important items that you should store on your boat in Canada. Keep reading for a list of the essential safety equipment that every boat should have onboard.
7 Important Safety Items to Bring on Your Boat
- Life Jackets – Some boaters make the mistake of thinking they’re strong swimmers, so they only need life jackets if there are kids onboard. The reality is that Canadian law requires a life jacket for each person on a boat. If your boat sinks or capsizes, and you need to tread water or swim to shore, a life jacket can prove the difference between life and death, especially in cold or choppy water.
- Throwable Flotation Devices – If your boat is at least 16 feet long, Canadian law stipulates that you must bring at least one throwable flotation device aboard. This essential safety equipment allows you to rescue someone who has fallen off your own boat, or the occupants of another boat that has capsized, without putting your own life at risk by jumping into turbulent water.
- Emergency Signaling Devices – If your boat loses power or you suffer a medical emergency in the middle of a lake or, worse, at open sea,you need to be able to alert nearby boaters to your distress. There are a variety of emergency signaling devices you can bring on your boat in Canada, including flares, smoke signals, distress flags, horns and bells. To make sure you’re able to signal for help by day and by night, no matter the weather, it would be wise to bring a mix of both audio and visual devices.
- VHF Radio – Aside from standard visual and audio signaling devices, it’s important to bring a VHF radio on your boat so that you can call for help if there is no one nearby to assist you. The Canadian Coast Guard can be reached on VHF Channel 16, so use this channel if you’re stranded at sea.
- Fire Extinguishers – You might laugh at the idea of bringing a fire extinguisher out on the water but law actually requires larger boats in Canadian waters to carry at least one extinguisher. A boat’s engine can catch fire, just like any other vehicle, and if you’re on a larger pleasure craft with cooking appliances, this creates an additional risk of a fire breaking out.
- Aquatic First Aid Kits – Injuries can occur on a boat, whether it’s from an extreme event like a collision with another boat or just the result of someone slipping on a wet floor. A first aid kit is one of the most vital pieces of safety equipment to bring on your boat in Canada. Be sure to pack things like survival blankets and hydration tablets that can save lives in dangerous situations on the water.
- Paddles – Unfortunately, if you’re on a large watercraft that gets stuck in the water, a few paddles won’t do you much good. But for smaller boats, bringing along a couple of paddles can allow you to row yourself ashore in the event that your boat stalls.
Get Your Boat Out of the Water Safely With Roll-n-Go
When it’s time to get your boat ashore after a long day on the water, Innovative Outdoors’ Roll-n-Go On-Shore Docking System can make that process as quick and easy as possible. Roll-n-Go can be purchased in five different sizes to work with different types of boats. Connect with Roll-n-Go today if you’d like to purchase one of our innovative boat docking systems to be used anywhere in Canada!