Safe Boating Week takes place until June 22 and Sûreté du Québec officers will be intensifying their boating safety enforcement efforts on Québec waters. Marine patrols will work in close collaboration with their partners to raise awareness among boaters about the importance of safe behaviour.

As the summer season approaches, it is important to remember the laws and regulations boaters boaters must follow to prevent collisions, injuries, and fatalities.

Boat sober

Although it is not prohibited in Québec to consume alcohol aboard a boat, boaters who consume alcohol considerably increase the risk of death or injury in addition to to penalties under the Criminal Code.

Boaters are advised to avoid all alcohol consumption aboard boats since factors such as the sun, wind, waves can intensify the effects of alcohol when on the water.

Navigate at a safe speed

It is essential to navigate at a safe speed to avoid any incident. Use the factors below below to determine the safe speed:

  • The ability to see ahead – reduced speed is the only safe speed in fog, haze, rain and darkness conditions
  • Wind, water and currents
  • The speed at which your boat can change direction
  • The number and types of vessels operated near your boat
  • The presence of navigation hazards, such as rocks and stumps

Become aware of your surroundings

At all times, boaters are encouraged to be forward-looking, vigilant and attentive when on the water. Here are some safety guidelines:

  • Anticipate reckless maneuvers by other boaters
  • Keep a reasonable distance from other boats
  • Pay attention to sound signals from other boaters
  • Maneuver adequately and quickly when a problematic situation arises

Prepare your outings

  • Have the mandatory equipment on board the boat and check its condition before departure
  • The boaters are required to have any type of life jacket inside boat. Although it is not compulsory to wear a life jacket, it is strongly recommended that it be worn at all times. It could save your life
  • Plan your route and check the weather forecast before leaving
  • Have with you a map of the water bodies in case the technology is lacking
  • Inform someone of the route plan (itinerary, details on the boat and number of people on board, expected return time, etc.)
  • Bring what you need to prevent dehydration, heat stroke and hypothermia as well as a first aid kit
  • Beware of cold water
  • Respect other boaters and watch out for children who might be near your boat


Download the Safe Boating Guide for more information: