The OPP is reminding boaters ahead of the Labour Day long weekend any vessel underway that has any type of motor, requires the operator to possess a valid Pleasure Craft Operators Card or proof of competency equivalence.

And, any vessel on the water, (even paddleboats, paddle boards, and canoes) require all the necessary safety equipment on board.

Standard equipment:

• 15m floating heaving line

• watertight flashlight

• whistle — must be pealess* (or some type of sound signaling device, ie. horn, or portable air horn, etc.)

• bailing bucket

• a paddle or an oar

• lifejackets or Personal Floatation Devices for every person on board — self-inflating PFD’s must be worn

• and depending on the size of the vessel and motor being used, it may require proper flares and a fire extinguisher

Horsepower and age restrictions:

• under 12 years may operate a boat with up to 10 h.p.

• 12 to 16 years may operate a boat with up to 40 h.p.

• under 16, regardless of supervision, may NOT operate a personal watercraft (sea doo, jet skis). Older than 16 carries no horsepower restriction.

• impaired operation on the water carries the same penalties as on the highway.