Water Safety

Boat Licences

The Government of Canada requires every person who operates a motorized boat in Canada to obtain proof of competency. You can obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card by passing a Transport Canada accredited boating safety test. Getting your Operator Card proves that you are a competent boater and ensures that you understand Canada's navigation rules and how to boat safely.

Boaters can obtain their official Pleasure Craft Operator Card, commonly known as a boat license or boat card, by successfully passing the BOATsmart! exam.

Floating the Channel

With its location alongside two great lakes connected by a navigable channel, Penticton is a natural starting point for venturing out on the water. But before you depart, consider your safety first. Floaters are reminded that the water is moving very quickly and are asked to follow these safety guidelines:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, snags under water, shoreline branches etc.
  • Wear a life jacket if you are not a swimmer or in fast moving water, like the Penticton Channel.
  • Do not tie floaties together in Penticton Channel, it’s dangerous.
  • Avoid alcohol while participating in water activities.
  • Call 911 if you are experiencing or witness a water emergency.

Transport Canada Guidelines

Whether you’re in a canoe, kayak, rowboat, rowing shell or inflatable tube, if you’re getting from Point A to Point B, you’re “navigating” and are required to carry mandatory safety equipment, as outlined by Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Regulations.

So, which safety equipment will you need?

  • A correctly fitted Personal Floatation Device (PDF)
  • A buoyant heaving line
  • A whistle

For more information and tips on boat safety, please visit Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety website.