How to Stay Safe on the Water this Summer

(NC) Enjoy a summer on the water with friends and family by following these tips to keep people and Canadian waterways safe.

1. Report signs of trouble. Canadian waterways are essential for leisure, travel and the economy. It's important to know when something's wrong so that the Canadian Coast Guard can step in to help. Oil slicks, diesel and other toxic spills are all obvious signs of trouble. Persistent water pollution can slowly endanger wildlife.

2. Help keep our waters clean. If you have a boat, you have a responsibility to ensure that no oil and other hazardous products, including sewage, spill into the waters. Avoid any spills, no matter how small, because they affect the environment. Properly remove and dispose of an old boat you no longer need. This could include taking the boat to a boat retailer, a recycle depot or a landfill, depending on what is available where you live. Help protect the environment by reporting any signs of marine pollution or abandoned boats and wrecks. As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada will improve marine safety, protect Canada's marine environment and introduce new measures to prohibit owners from abandoning their boats in our waters.

3. Take weather precautions. If heading out on the water, check weather reports to make sure you're not taken by surprise by changing weather conditions.

4. Keep emergency numbers on hand. Make sure to have a marine radio on board set to channel 16. In case of an emergency, dial *16 on your mobile device, which will connect you with the closest Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services centre. Find your local Canadian Coast Guard phone number at www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/emergency-numbers-hub.

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