The mandate of the Quebec Region Office of Boating Safety (OBS) team is to promote boating safety and protection of the aquatic environment by giving the public the opportunity to know more about regulations and by working on prevention initiatives. Also, the Office of Boating Safety provides a one-stop access to all information on recreational boating.
401-1550 D’Estimauville Avenue
Quebec City, Quebec
The sound of water lapping at the hull of your boat and the cool breeze on your face are among the many pleasures of being on the water. But as enjoyable as recreational boating can be, people must approach it seriously and be prepared so that each outing on the water can be a great success.
Low water levels
Before leaving port, in order to avoid any unfortunate incidents, we urge you to visit the Web site of the Canadian Hydrographic Service. There, you will find all of the information you need about water levels in the St. Lawrence between Montreal and Sept Iles.
Wear a lifejacket: it will keep you safe
By law, all boats must have enough properly fitted lifejackets or personal flotation devices for all people on board. The lifejackets or personal flotation devices must be approved by Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada or any combination of those organizations. The personal flotation devices are offered in a wide range of sizes and models adapted for different types of on water activities. In addition, even though it is best to wear a personal flotation device that is yellow, orange or red, they are available in a wide variety of colours, so there is no good reason for a person not to wear a personal flotation device at all times.
Competency test: there’s no way around it
No matter what type of body of water you are on, you must have a certain number of basic skills to ensure that you stay safe and have fun while operating your recreational craft. On September 15, 2009, it became mandatory for all operators of motorized pleasure craft to be certified. Transport Canada recommends that all recreational boaters take a boat-safety certification course in order to obtain their pleasure-craft licence.
Before you go: one step you should not forget
Before leaving the wharf for new horizons, you should map out your route and give this trip plan to someone you trust. The document should contain your full itinerary as well as some information about your craft and the people on board. When you get back, don’t forget to tell the person you gave the information to that you have returned; doing so will prevent any unwarranted and costly search operations from being launched.
In addition, make sure to check the weather forecast and always be on the lookout for atmospheric changes, as they can be excellent indicators that bad weather is on the way.
Ensure that your craft and the electronic instruments on board are in good working order. Ensure that you have enough fuel, that you have all of the required safety equipment, and that it is all in good working order. Your equipment should be easily accessible and usable by all people on board. Don’t forget that the safety equipment you are required to have varies depending on the type and size of your craft and that, when you are renting or borrowing a craft, the responsibility for possessing the mandatory equipment falls on both you and the owner of the boat.