Safe Boating

Well, to be quite clear: there are no “special” boating regulations for Bridge Lake. However, that doesn’t mean that everything goes. There are quite a few rules that govern the safe and responsible use of pleasure craft on our lakes. For a short overview of “Boating in BC” check out www.britishcolumbia.com.

Some of the more important laws, rules and restrictions are outlined below:

Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)

Starting September 15, 2009, all operators of powered pleasure craft have to carry an operator card as proof of competency. This is regulated by the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Failure to comply with this law will cost you a minimum of $250. Some frequently asked questions like “Who needs an Operator Card?” or “How do I obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?” are answered here.

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Boat Licence Number     

All pleasure craft powered by an engine 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more must be licensed, unless they are registered. A pleasure craft licence provides a unique identification number – commonly referred to as the “licence number” – that owners must display on a recreational vessel’s bow, as required under the Small Vessel Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. The easiest way to learn how to obtain a boat licence number is by going to the Service Canada web site.

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Boat Safety Equipment     

All boats are required to carry safety equipment, depending on the type and size of the boat. All equipment should be checked regularly, be well maintained, and replaced if necessary. Kits which meet the requirements of Transport Canada are readily available at sporting goods stores, hardware stores etc. For more information, consult the Small Vessel Regulations.

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Boating Restrictions     

Shore-Line Speed Restrictions

Please observe the speed limit of 10km/h (6 mph) within 30 meters (100 ft) from shore, even if unposted. This limit applies on all waters within British Columbia except where other limits are posted.

Age Restrictions

Children under the age of 12 and not directly supervised by someone 16 years of age or older can operate a recreational vessel with no more than 10 hp. Youth between 12 years of age and under 16 years of age and not directly supervised by someone 16 years of age or older can operate a recreational vessel with no more than 40 hp. Only persons 16 years of age or older can operate a personal watercraft (PWC) regardless of supervision.

Alcohol and Boating

Boating while impaired is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and carries heavy fines, ranging from a $600 fine for a first offence up to at least 90 days of imprisonment for the 3rd offence.

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Noise Bylaw     

Be aware that there is a Noise Controll Bylaw 4461 in place for the whole CRD Area “L” that imposes strict fines on “any excessive or persistent noise in or on public or private property which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort, or convenience of persons in the surrounding neighbourhood or vicinity.” Fines range from $100 up to $2,000 for each offence!

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Got more questions?     

Hopefully they can be answered at the Office of Boating Safety web site. Still more questions: feel free to send us an email and we will try to help.