Operating a Personal Watercraft
Source: Transport Canada
Safe use of a personal watercraft (PWC) requires skill and experience. PWC operators must be at least 16 years old and have proof of competency and proof of age on board.
Before you let someone borrow your PWC, you must make sure that they know how to operate it safely and responsibly. Basic tips include:
- Always wear a Canadian-approved lifejacket (inflatable PFDs are not allowed) coloured red, orange or yellow to make it easy for others to see you.
- Wear thermal protection when operating in cold water (water less than 15°C).
- Read the owner’s manual before setting out.
- Attach the engine shut-off line securely to your wrist or lifejacket.
- Respect speed limits and other vessel operation restrictions.
- Be cautious, courteous and respect your neighbours. Many people dislike the noise a PWC makes when it is operated for long periods of time at high speed in one place,especially when it is used to jump waves.
- Be aware of the impact your PWC can have on the environment. Avoid high speeds near shore.
- Stay alert! At high speeds, it’s hard to see swimmers, waterskiers, divers and other PWCs in time to avoid them.
- Do not operate your PWC after dark or when visibility is poor.
- Make sure your PWC is properly licensed and marked.
- Do not start your PWC if you smell gasoline or fumes in the engine compartment. Have a qualified technician check it.
- Replace the engine cover or seat before starting.
To learn more about operating a PWC, check out the brochure Safety Rules and Tips for Personal Watercraft (PWC) Use at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca.