POLICE – Some tips for a safe and legal boating season

Kamloops RCMP is reminding boaters of some important things to keep in mind as boating season is underway:

BC Boating Regulations:

In British Columbia you need to carry a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card (a Boating License) to operate a powered watercraft.  Take the Boating License exam online at

Safe Boating Tips:

  • Wear your lifejacket, don’t just carry it onboard
  • Take a boating course
  • Be prepared with safety gear and sufficient fuel
  • Be weather-wise
  • Use common sense

Don’t Drink or use Cannabis and Boat

Boat operators face the same consequences as motor vehicle drivers when found to be impaired.

Safe Boating Practices

  • When meeting a boat, slow down to reduce the bow wave and pass on the right
  • If you are about to cross paths with another boat, the craft on the right side has the right of way
  • Be a considerate boater and be the first to give way
  • Operate your craft at a safe speed. Take into account having to stop abruptly or having to suddenly turn to avoid a collision
  • You should always be on the lookout for traffic on the water. It’s best to know where other boats are and where they’re heading before you make a turn or cross a wake.
  • In congested areas, lower your speed, just as you would if you were driving a car.
  • Don’t spill fuel, oil or leave litter or other pollutants where they don’t belong. Also, don’t operate your watercraft close to wildlife or aquatic vegetation.

Remember, boats, jet skiers and swimmers share the water. Keep your distance and respect other’s rights to safety, access and use of the water.

About Mel Rothenburger (7646 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on POLICE – Some tips for a safe and legal boating season

  1. David Goar // June 1, 2019 at 10:19 AM // Reply

    As worthy as these suggestions are, I believe the time has come to a acknowledge and admit that some marine uses are incompatible with others in certain environments. I have lived at Paul Lake for 40 years. I have watched, over those years as powerboats, ( particularly wakeboard boats ) have become ever larger and more powerful. Amongst all of the many recreational uses which the lake is now required to accommodate ( swimming, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding ,rowing,), as well as the uses made by other indigenous species, wakeboard boats and jet skis are incompatible and present a very real danger and Inconvenience to all other users and residents of the lake.

    Fortunately, we are blessed, in this part of B.C., with an abundance of lakes and other waterways. Many of these, such as Kamloops Lake and Nicola Lake, as well as parts of the Shuswap, are easily able to accommodate these larger and faster watercraft and the extreme sports enthusiasts who prefer them.

    Unfortunately, it has become abundantly clear that self regulation and respect for others, will not ,of itself, result in the use of different types of watercraft where they can be used safely, and without unduly infringing upon the rights, and enjoyment of others. It is, therefore, up to our governments, at all levels, to regulate the use of these wonderful public resources to avoid injury, and loss of life and to maximize the enjoyment that all of us can derive from their use.

    Segregation of uses is effective, as anyone can easily witness at Shumway Lake, where a median divider separates the powerboat enthusiasts from the people powered boat enthusiasts.

    I sincerely hope that the obvious intelligence of this approach is recognized by governments before people sustain serious injury ( or worse ) from the mixing of incompatible uses on our local lakes and other waterways.

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