Learning the ropes of boating safety

With more and more boats hitting the water around Victoria, Oak Bay’s marine search and rescue group is keeping busy

With the continued sunny skies and warm temperatures the call of the water is becoming increasingly hard to resist for Vancouver Islanders.

And with more and more boats hitting the water around Victoria, Oak Bay’s marine search and rescue group is keeping busy ensuring the safety of boaters.

When you are out on the water there are a few simple precautions you can take to make sure you have a safe trip and allow the search and rescue crews to focus on other more pressing concerns.

Don’t drink and boat. You need to think straight when you’re in a boat to protect yourself and your passengers. Sunshine and a boat’s rocking motion increase the effects of alcohol and can easily turn a pleasant trip into tragedy. Alcohol is involved in nearly 40 per cent of boating deaths. Don’t risk your life by drinking and boating.

Take a boating course. There is a wonderful freedom in being on the water. You don’t have to follow the white lines of the highway and it feels like you can go anywhere, anytime, at any speed. But in fact there are rules of the road that every mariner must know. Many boating courses are available in B.C. to help you understand your vessel, your environment, and your obligations on the water. The now-mandatory Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card is a first step. But check out the many enjoyable and useful boating courses offered by power and sail squadrons, local sailing schools and paddling courses.

Be prepared. If your car breaks down you can usually just pull over. If your boat breaks down you could be in big trouble. RCM-SAR responds to more than 800 calls a year, many from boaters who have run in to problems that were preventable. Have a proper check list for your boat and use it before each trip.

Beware of cold water risks. Have you dipped your toe into the ocean lately? Pretty cold, dangerously cold. Many people die during the first few minutes in cold water – not because they are hypothermic but because they drown due to the immediate, involuntary and often deadly effects of cold water. Know the risks and stay safe.


Just Posted

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

Red arrow shows the existing warehouse that is home to a variety of specialized equipment used by the Capital Region Emergency Services Telecommunications (CREST). The service provider is looking for a new home that will protect the equipment in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. (Google Maps)
CREST telecoms look to find a post-seismic facility in Greater Victoria

The move will better protect equipment vital to its 50 emergency service clients across the CRD

(Black Press Media file photo)
FRESH AND LOCAL: Greater Victoria farm markets ready to greet shoppers

A list of markets on the go this spring and summer, right into fall

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Graeme Wright is the owner of Hullabaloo, a new ice cream and coffee food truck serving patrons at the Red Barn on West Saanich. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff).
VIDEO: Cool treats, warm bevvies a specialty for new Saanich food truck

Hullabaloo owner Graeme Wright passionate about blending green space with sustainability

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Vancouver Island man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Most Read