Boat operators need to know of the existence of the Small Vessel Regulations and know that all pleasure craft are required to carry a minimum amount of safety equipment. These regulations provide information regarding the minimum safety equipment requirements for pleasure craft (see Appendix 1). Safety equipment should be stored in an easily accessible place on board the boat so it is immediately available in case of emergency, be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and checked regularly so that it functions properly as for its intended use. Everyone on board the boat should know where to find the safety equipment, how to use it, and what their role will be in case of an emergency. As a boat operator, you are violating these regulations if you operate a pleasure craft that does not have all the required equipment on board, or if the equipment is not in good working order. This also apples if you loan the boat to others. Properly functioning equipment, plus the knowledge of how to use it is important for everybody’s safety. You should demonstrate lifesaving equipment and provide safety instructions to the vessel passengers and users. It is recommended you check the safety equipment as well as other important areas before each outing. Boat safety equipment requirements depend on the type and length of the vessel. The operator is responsible to ensure the boat has all the required safety equipment.
An appropriate emergency kit should also be carried on board. The kit should be stored in a watertight container and in a place that is easily accessible to all persons on board.