Okanagan Boating Safety Brochure

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OKANAGAN BOATING SAFETY Your quick reference guide to safe boating on Okanagan Lake.



Leaking or spilled fuel not only harms the environment Before you enjoy your time on the lake, make sure you

but also presents a fire hazard. Follow these steps when

have all the necessary safe boating requirements:

fueling – it’s the safe thing to do and it’s the law.

One correctly sized lifejacket for every person

∙ Moor your boat securely to prevent spills

on board.

∙ Shut off all engines

Your proof of operator competency – Pleasure

∙ All guests must depart the boat

Craft Operating Card (PCOC). Ensure all safety equipment on board is in good working order, up to date and easy to reach. Tell someone reliable where you are going and when you will be back. Be familiar with the local hazards, water levels and boat traffic. Inspect your boat and do a safety briefing with all your guests when they arrive on board.

∙ Do not smoke or have an open flame while fueling ∙ Turn off electrical switches and power supplies ∙ Do not use electrical devices (such as portable radios) ∙ Close all windows, portholes, hatches and cabin doors ∙ Remove portable tanks from the vessel before refueling ∙ Ground the nozzle against the filler pipe

Monitor the weather and regularly take note of

Know how much your tank can hold and do not

any changes.

overfill it – you have the duty to prevent fuel leaks and

Check the fuel levels and be familiar with the

spills into your boat’s hull and water.

closest gas docks to the area you are boating in.

Wipe up spills and dispose of the used cloth or towel in

Remember 1/3 to go, 1/3 to return, 1/3 reserve.

an approved container. Run the engine compartment blower for at least four minutes immediately before starting the gasoline engine. Check for vapours from the engine compartment before you start up the engine.

THINGS TO KNOW WHILE ON THE WATER Know the ‘rules of the road’ for Canada’s waterways. Avoid close quarter situations – Keep a constant watch for others on the water and be aware who has

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY Emergencies can happen at any time and if you experience or witness an emergency when on Okanagan Lake call 9-1-1.

the right-of-way. As a general rule, the least maneuverable vessel has the right-of-way. Most Maneuverable: Power Boats / Jet Skis Least Maneuverable: Sailboats / Paddle Vessels

Report issues and near misses – we all want to keep the lake safe, if you have an non-emergency to report call the RCMP with all relevant



You have the right-of-away over vessels approaching from this arc.



information at 250-762-3300.

Give way to vessels approaching from this arc.

PREVENTATIVE PLANNING Recovering someone who fell overboard – could you get a person out of the water if they could not help

Vessels from this arc keep clear of you.

you? Steps to help: 1. Communicate that someone has fallen overboard.


2. Slow down, stop if possible, and throw something

Operate at a safe speed – You may have to stop or

that floats to the person. This can be used to keep

turn suddenly to avoid a collision.

them afloat or will mark their location if they go

Staying sober is your responsibility – Boating while


under the influence of alcohol and drugs can lead to

3. Assign someone to watch the person overboard,

dangerous situations and consequences.

have them point during the recovery.

Be aware of what is going on around you –

4. Carefully put your boat in the safest position to

Paddlers, divers, and seaplanes can often be found

bring the person on board.

on Okanagan Lake, and all boaters need to be aware

5. Use a heaving line that floats, or a lifebuoy

and keep clear.

secured to the boat with a line and recover the

Respect and protect Canada’s waterways – Do your

person, and bring them on board.

part to take good care so we can all enjoy Canada’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters into the future.

OKANAGAN BOATING SAFETY STAY SAFE Beautiful Okanagan Lake is 135 km long and has an average width of 4-5 km. With over 350 km² of lake surface, there is plenty of space for cruising and fun water activities. Whether you choose to paddle, cruise, fish or sail, staying safe on the water should be your number one priority. Being aware of the local hazards, gas docks and available safe ports is important to to ensure everyone’s safety while on the water!

LEGEND Hazards

Paddle Trail

Gas Docks

Public Washrooms

Safe Ports

Moorage Buoys

Boat Launch

Public Docks

SPECIAL BUOYS Mooring – A mooring buoy is used for mooring or securing vessels. Be aware that when you see one, there may be a vessel secured to it. Control – Obey the speed limits, watch restrictions, etc. are illustrated inside with the orange circle. Keep Out – A keep out buoy marks areas your vessel may not enter. Information – An information buoy displays details such as location, marina, campsite etc. inside the orange square. Hazard – A hazard buoy marks random hazards such as shoals and rocks. You will find information illustrated inside the orange diamond. Diving – A diving buoy marks an area where scuba or other diving activity is in progress. You are not likely to find them on navigation charts.

Scan here for more details on the hazards and moorage buoys.

TAKE A BOATING COURSE In Canada, it’s the law that when operating powered recreational boats you have a basic knowledge of boating safety and that you carry your proof of competency onboard. The Kelowna Yacht Club Boating Safety 101 course will provide you with valuable information for safe boating, helping you become comfortable when out on the water, and includes attaining your Boating License - Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card (PCOC) and practical on the water training.


250-762-3310 boatingsafety@kelownayachtclub.com

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