Safe Boating Week
The SQ is stepping up its interventions on waterways
Article published on 17 June 2021
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On the occasion of Safe Boating Week, which is currently being held until June 22, the police officers of the Sûreté du Québec will intensify their boating safety interventions on the waterways of Quebec. Nautical patrollers will work in close collaboration with their partners to make boaters aware of the importance of adopting safe behavior when traveling on the various bodies of water in Quebec. The Sûreté du Québec reminded boaters of the laws and regulations in force, in order to prevent collisions with serious injuries or even fatalities.

Here are some safety tips for getting back to your destination safely.

Navigate while staying sober
Although it is not prohibited in Quebec to consume alcohol on board a boat, even if it is a motor boat, boaters who consume alcohol considerably increase the risk of death or injury in addition to being subject to the penalties provided for in the Criminal Code.

For their safety, boaters are therefore advised to avoid all alcohol consumption on board a boat since certain factors such as the sun, the wind and the movements of a boat subjected to the effects of the waves can intensify the effects of the alcohol when on the water.

Navigate at a safe speed
It is essential to navigate at a safe speed to avoid any incident. Use the factors below to determine the safe speed:

- The ability to see ahead - reduced speed is the only safe speed in fog, haze, rain and darkness;
- Wind, water and currents;
- The speed at which your boat can change direction;
- The number and types of vessels operated near your boat;
- The presence of navigation risks, such as rocks and stumps.

Become aware of your environment
At all times, boaters are encouraged to be considerate, vigilant and attentive while navigating the water. Here are some safety guidelines:
- Anticipate reckless maneuvers by other boaters;
- Keep a reasonable distance from other boats;
- Pay attention to sound signals from other boaters;
- Maneuver adequately and quickly when a problematic situation arises.

Prepare your outings
- Have the mandatory equipment on board the boat and check its condition before departure. Boaters are required to have a life jacket inside any type of boat. Although it is not compulsory to wear a life jacket, it is strongly recommended that it be worn at all times. It could save your life;
- Plan your route and check the weather forecast before leaving;
- Have with you a map of the water bodies in case the technology is lacking;
- Inform someone of the route plan (itinerary, details of the boat and number of people on board, expected return time, etc.);
- Bring everything you need to prevent dehydration, heat stroke and hypothermia as well as a first aid kit;
- Beware of immersion in cold water;
- Respect other boaters and watch out for the little ones who might be near your boat.

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