BOATsmart! Canada
Knowledge Base

Module 04 - Safe Boat Operation

Effects of Being on the Water



Be aware of the effects of being on the water on both yourself and your passengers (guests), including the motion of your boat, the sunlight, wind, waves and sound. These effects can impair your judgment, balance, coordination, reflex response time and hearing, all of which can impact your ability to operate a boat safely. 

Always ensure that you’re well rested before hitting the water, especially if you’ll be boating for long periods of time, and take steps to reduce the effects of being on the water by dressing appropriately. Protect yourself from the elements by wearing sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat or visor. 

If you get too hot and dehydrated you’ll likely end up with heat exhaustion, which will pretty much bring your good time on the water to a complete stop.

Heat Exhaustion 

Heat exhaustion can result from an abnormally high body temperature, and can cause several serious symptoms, including permanent organ damage. It can be fatal if it’s not properly treated right away. 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps and dizziness.

To treat heat exhaustion, perform the following:

  • Cool the victim by removing clothing
  • Apply cool water to the skin and fan the victim to promote sweating and evaporation
  • Apply ice packs under the victim's armpits and groin
  • Monitor the victim's body temperature and continue cooling them until their body temperature cools to 38.3 – 38.8 oC

Get your Official Canadian
Boating License

The Official Transport Canada Boating Course, Test & License.

Get your Official Canadian
Boating License

The Official Transport Canada Boating
Course, Test & License.

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