August 2nd, 2018
Wood Buffalo, Alberta- With the Summer in full swing, so is the Wood Buffalo RCMP Jet Boat. This is the fifth season the RCMP have been operating the Jet Boat in our region. The Wood Buffalo RCMP has approximately fifteen boat operators in the area, these officers conduct patrols and respond to calls for service on the regions bodies of water. With that said, the RCMP would like to provide the public with a few safety tips to help ensure a fun and safe up coming long weekend on the water.
• Obtain a Proof of Competency- Everyone who operates a boat is required to show they understand the rules and how to safety operate a boat. The most common proof of competency is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
• Always Wear a Life jacket or Personal Flotation Device- Choosing the right life jacket or PFD is very important when keeping you and your onboard guests safe. Remember, no matter what life saving device you choose, it won’t work if you don’t wear it.
• Preparing to set Sail-Complete a pre-departure check to ensure your vessel has the required safety equipment and is mechanically sound. Boaters should review a map of the area they are travelling and check current weather conditions.
• Don’t Drink and Boat- Alcohol and boats do not mix! As boat operators you are responsible for the safety of yourself, your guests and those you are sharing the water ways with. Besides being dangerous, operating a motorized vessel while impaired is illegal under section 253 of the Criminal Code.
• Designate a Skipper- It is important to ensure at least one other person understands the operation of the boat in case the main operator becomes injured or incapacitated. Remember that anyone operating the boat must have their Proof of Competency.
• Use Common Sense- One of the most important parts of boating is to know the rules and to use your common sense. Be alert at all times and be considerate of other vessels you are sharing the water ways with.
RCMP Boat operators will continue conducting patrols this season and will be working with our community partners, including Search and Rescue (SAR) and Fort McMurray Fish and Wildlife Officers.
The public can refer to the following transport Canada link for additional information and safety tips: http://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/marinesafety/TP-511e.pdf
Cst. Justin Robertson
Wood Buffalo RCMP-GRC