Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety and Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association would like to remind all boaters to operate their vessels safely, in accordance with the law and the principles of safe boating practices. Irresponsible boating activity could endanger the boater, passengers, and other water way users. In warmer weather boaters should to always be on the lookout for swimmers.

Sailing Club members are reminded to stay out of the Ambleside Beach swimming area and to be on the lookout for swimmers in the water.

The Collision Regulations set out rules for the safe navigation:

  • Proceed at a safe speed and take proper and effective action to avoid collision; stop within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
  • Maintain proper lookout — be aware of what is going on around you while on the water boating.
  • Watch out for other vessels and other waterway users including swimmers, and be ready to stop, slow down and yield.

Swimmers will often–but not always–be wearing black wetsuits. Look out for swimmers especially in swim zones adjacent to beaches but also further out in the water than expected. Some (but not all) swimmers will be using high-visibility personal buoys (e.g. a “Swim Buddy.”)

The following sections of the Small Vessel Regulations may apply:

  • Prohibition Against Careless Operation, s. 1007: No person shall operate a vessel in a careless manner, without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons, including operating a vessel at a higher speed than necessary when near swimmers or non-powered vessels. A violation can result in a fine of $403.
  • Safety Obligation, s. 201: The operator of a pleasure craft shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the craft and of every person on board. A violation can result in a fine of $345.

The following sections of the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations may apply:

  • Speeding s.7: No person shall operate a power-driven vessel at a speed in excess of 10 km/h within 30 m of the shore in the following waters…(b) the rivers and lakes in British Columbia. A violation can result in a fine of $230.
  • Safe Operation s. 15: (1) A person who operates a vessel shall take into account any circumstances that could pose a danger to the vessel or to other vessels; and avoid endangering the safety of persons involved in any activity in any waters. Violations can result in a fine of $575.