overhead view of open powerboat underway with gas tank, extra paddles, rope and passenger wearing pfds 

Required by Size & Type

Lifejackets & PFDs

Rescue / Distress

Navigational / Lighting


Additional Operational

Check Lists & Maintenance


All boats are required to carry safety equipment. What exactly must be carried depends on the type and size of boat (usually expressed in length from bow to stern.) All equipment should be checked regularly, be well maintained, and replaced if necessary.

The most important safety practice is the wearing of a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD). Depending on the nature of your boating activity, you can choose between the greater protection of a full lifejacket and the specialized comfort of a PFD. Recent advances in technology and design have produced a range of styles, colours, and performance options. There must be a Canadian approved lifejacket or PFD of the appropriate size for everyone on board.

It is strongly recommended that a lifejacket or PFD be worn at all times, particularly in smaller boats. Learn more about cold water and the necessity of wearing a lifejacket in Key Safety Information.

Almost 90% of the 180 Canadians (on average) who die every year in boating incidents were not properly wearing a lifejacket or PFD. Nearly 70% capsized or fell overboard from a small open boat. (2006/07 Canadian Red Cross 10-Year Drowning Report)

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