PADDLERsmart! Canada Knowledge Base

Module 02 - Boating Equipment


Statistics show that most small boat operators who drowned were in sight of a potential rescuer, and would likely have been saved if they had just remained afloat a few moments longer.

Always wear your life jacket! By wearing a Canadian-approved, properly fitted flotation device you will greatly reduce your risk of accidental drowning!

There are three main types of Canadian-approved flotation devices:

  • Life jackets
  • Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
  • Inflatable PFDs

Boat operators are required to carry at least one life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board the boat.

How do I know if my flotation device is Canadian-approved? 

Canadian-approved flotation devices have a label or stamp indicating that they are approved by Transport Canada or the Canadian Coast Guard.

If the flotation device has been damaged, altered, or repaired, or if the label or stamp indicating approval is illegible, the flotation device will no longer be considered approved. If the flotation device is ripped or damaged, replace it immediately.

Be aware that not all PFDs are Canadian-approved (like some wakeboard vests). Always check the label!


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