Make It Happen Capn!

Safe Boating Tips For the Muskoka Lakes!

We’re excited for August too. The summer weather is at its prime and many of us are taking holidays and heading north to the cottage to fire up the BBQ, launch our boats and get a little R&R. We’ll be on the water, on the dock, in the sun, around the campfire… just spending time OUTSIDE and loving it. So what are you doing to celebrate summer’s best cottage month?

Here’s a Suggestion: Don’t Just Be a Boat Owner, Be a Boat CAPTAIN.

Being a boat captain means a whole lot more than just getting behind the wheel. It means being 100% responsible for everyone on board and around your boat and for making all the right choices on the water. As we all know (too well), during the month of August the lake populations and boat traffic grows ten-fold in the Muskokas. This influx increases the need to operate your boat with extra caution.That’s a lot of responsibility for a boat captain. Are you ready for that?

So, What Can I Do?

Make sure you’re you’ve obtained your mandatory boating license and make sure that everyone on board your boat is wearing a Canadian-approved life jacket. Including you. Nothing will convince a child to wear their life jacket more than seeing their parent, neighbor, or older sibling wearing one. Make it happen, cap’n.

The life jacket law in Canada requires boaters to carry one Canadian-approved life jacket for each person on the boat. However, we aren’t required to WEAR life jackets when boating. So most adults don’t… but why don’t we? Don’t you buckle your seatbelt when driving in your car? Wear a helmet when riding your bike? Of course we do, right? So, what’s so different about life jackets?

Shatter a Muskoka Myth.

The most common excuse given by boaters as a reason to NOT to wear a life jacket is that they’re ‘uncomfortable’. People say that they scratch, they’re soggy, they’re too tight (or too loose), or they’re too… well, orange. But these myths just don’t hold water anymore. Modern inflatable life jackets and belt packs are compact and cool looking.

Use this hard truth to shatter the life jacket myth: Most boaters who recently drowned in Canada were within site of a rescuer and likely would have been saved… if they had managed to stay afloat for a few moments longer. So, if you happen to be one of those folks who doesn’t wear a life jacket because it gets in the way of your enjoyment of the water, the truth is yeah, your life jacket really DOES get in the way - in the way of you from drowning.

The ‘Captain Card’.

Learn more about boating safety, operator responsibility and the importance of wearing life jackets by visiting and taking the fully animated, online BOATsmart! Course. Besides, you can’t truly call yourself a captain without having a boating license in your pocket. It’s just a wallet-sized card, but it says ‘Hey, I’m a certified boat captain and I know what I’m doing on the water’. So what are you waiting for captain? Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card today and claim your title.

Stay safe Muskoka! Wear those life jackets this summer!

Lindsey Jeremiah – BOATsmart!