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Safety on the waterways

Courtesy on the Water.

For all of us to enjoy our boating experience, courtesy and the rules of the waterways are extremely important. From kayakers and canoers, to the fishing boats to the cruisers and the sailers, knowing when to give way, when to slow your boat down to reduce your wake or when to get out of the way are all extremely important. Sometimes common sense plays a big factor to keeping the waterways safe. I know when I am in a 24 foot boat and I see an ocean bound freighter coming down the St. Lawrence, I get out of the way! These freighters take an extremely long distance to slow or even come to a stop. The same for larger cruisers, they do not stop on a dime. As the captains of larger vessels are responsible for their safe progress through the water, common sense is best used when operating a smaller vessel to stay clear and choose your moments when to cross a channel that may mean crossing in front of a larger vessel. Managing your wake of your boat is also your responsibility. Come off plane or reduce your speed when passing a small fishing boat or canoe or kayak to avoid swamping the craft or possibly knocking the occupants out of their boats. Wake board boats need to understand this as well and respect the other crafts on the water as well as the possible damage that large wakes do to the shoreline and docks all along the shoreline. There are more and more of the wakeboard style boats and the type of water sports enjoyed with these type of boats is growing in popularity! Please be careful and use common sense out there. That way everyone can enjoy the days we get to spend out on the water.

I suggest you review the safety requirements for operating your boat and make sure you have all the recommended gear on board for your safety and the safety of your passengers. This includes having a spare propeller on board and the tools to change your prop if you should hit something in the water.

Enjoy the season and your time on the water!

Kevin Rougeau