Boating safety tips ahead of May long weekend

Kelowna Yacht Club encourages boat renters to get their boater examination course

May long weekend brings boaters from across B.C. to enjoy Okanagan Lake and the Kelowna Yacht Club wants to make sure this boating season will be a safe one.

“The first rule of safety is a life jacket and one for every person in the boat,” said Yacht Club executive director Thom Killingsworth.

He said most boats will have a 12 person capacity, which possibly could be the equivalent of 1200 pounds and boaters need to account for the weight the vessel can handle not the amount of people on board.

READ MORE: Child dies in boating accident on Kal Lake

For people visiting the Okanagan, Killingsworth said they also need to be aware of weather conditions.

Weather can change unexpectedly on a body of water the size of Okanagan Lake is a big lake and so boaters should be prepared for varying conditions.

“Another thing I think is very important is renters taking the boater examination course. It is the law for people who own a boat, but for renting a boat, the person only gets a boaters orientation which isn’t the same,” said Killingsworth.

He said it is a quick course that can be taken online.

READ MORE: Boating impact considered on Kal Lake

Transport Canada also reminds those out on the water that boaters can be fined $230 for consuming or possessing liquor in an open container in a public place and $115 for public intoxication under the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Act.

Under the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Act alcohol can be consumed on the deck or in the cabin if the boat is licensed or is a boat that the public does not have access to with sleeping accommodations, cooking facilities and a toilet.

‘Safe Boating on the Lake’ begins Saturday.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

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