Boat Safety / July 31, 2019

Safety tips when taking your boat to a festival

Taking a cruise around the Vancouver Harbour for the Honda Celebration of Light? Did you join the 500+ other boaters at the annual Pottahawk boat party at Long Point Bay, on Lake Erie? If you are heading out to the Port Stanley Festival or are you heading out on the water to watch a sailing regatta at Cow Bay or English Bay, boaters have a unique opportunity to get the best seat in the house. Here are some safety tips when taking your boat to a festivals or event cruising.

Think before you sink

The waterways are busy when hundreds of boats congregate at the same location. Recently the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) nabbed an impaired boater, saved a sinking ship and attended to a BBQ burn victim all at the Pottahawk party. Summer parties are great. But with boating and partying, everyone needs to think safety first. Think before you sink and be safe on the water this summer. This is just a few of the safety tips when taking your boat to a festivals.

Tips for partying while on board a boat

  • Check all of your mandatory safety equipment is in good shape.
  • Check the weather forecast before heading out on the water – even if you are staying close to shore.
  • File a trip plan with someone before you depart.
  • Plan your outing to avoid the biggest rushes in and out of the marina’s.
  • Keep to the max capacity of passengers that is suited for your boat and don’t overload with extra passengers.
  • Ensure everyone is wearing or has easy access to a life jacket.
  • Boating and alcohol do not mix. The captain is responsible for the safety of everyone.
  • If the festival or event ends after dark, ensure you have the proper lights on your boat.
  • Be aware of small craft or even people on paddles boards.
  • Have your VHF radio charged.  If you do not own one, ensure you have a fully charged cell phone and you are within range to call if an emergency should occur.
  • Be patient and err on the side of caution when maneuvering around many boats, many novice boaters rent boats for these events, and may not be experienced.

The Port of Vancouver has some awesome tips if you are heading out to see the fireworks on your boat, but these are great tips for any boater.  Enjoy the waterways of Canada this summer, from the Safe Harbour Insurance team.


Port of Vancouver Recreational Boating Activities Safety

Norfolk Tourism, Pottahawk Caution

Global News Celebration of Light 2019 Guide

Port Stanley Calipso Festival




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