Manitoba RCMP reminds Manitobans to stay safe out on the water as Safe Boating Awareness week is here

May 22, 2024
Winnipeg, Manitoba

News release


RCMP boat
Boat safety

Warmer weather is fast approaching, which means the start of boating season for many Manitobans. The RCMP would like to remind everyone the importance of safety and preparedness before heading out onto the water.

As many people take their boats out of winter storage, it is important to ensure it is in proper working order. Boats should be mechanically sound, including all the required safety equipment. Anyone operating a boat with a motor in Canada must possess a Pleasure Craft Operators Card.

Criminal Code Impaired driving laws involving motor vehicles apply equally to operating a boat. Significant skill is required to safely operate a boat, and the consumption of alcohol or drugs severely impacts your ability to do so. Many fatalities that occur on Canadian waterways involve people who are impaired.

In partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, here are important safety tips:

Wear a life jacket: Always wear a Canadian-approved personal flotation device/life jacket while on the water.

Always boat sober: Whether it's prescription drugs, alcohol or cannabis, intoxication and boating do not mix.

Be prepared – both you and your vessel: Ensure your boat has all the required safety gear and sufficient fuel. Always check the weather before heading out.

Take a boating course: Boaters are required by law to possess a Pleasure Craft Operator Card in order to operate a motorized boat.

Be cold water safe: Cold water can severely impact your ability to swim and stay afloat. No matter your swimming ability, the best chance of surviving an accidental cold-water immersion is to wear your life jacket.

"Having all the safety equipment required in your vessel is so important", said Sergeant David Portelance, Marine Advisor for the Manitoba RCMP. "It is also important to know exactly where it is, so when an emergency occurs you can access it quickly. We want everyone to have a safe boating season."


Contact information

Phone: 204-983-8497

Manitoba RCMP Media Relations Unit

Tara Seel, Media Relations Officer
Cpl. Julie Courchaine, Media Relations Officer
Sgt. Paul Manaigre, Media Relations Officer
Robert Cyrenne, Director Communications and Media Relations
Twitter @rcmpmb | @GRCManitoba |

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