Largely unnoticed by the paddling community last year, Transport Canada has updated the Canada Shipping Act.  Of particular importance to guides and instructors are new provisions for guided excursions of human-powered vessels (a fancy name for canoes, kayaks and the like).

There are specific equipment requirements for guided excursions including:

  • First aid kits
  • Navigation equipment

Also, when the water temperature is less that 15⁰C, guides must have a cold water protocol.  This can include requiring immersion equipment or having clear guidelines for dealing with a client that has fallen in.

These changes were part of a wider revision of Canada’s shipping regulations.

The full text is available at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-regulations/acts-2001c26.htm.

We have included the relevant excerpts below.

HUMAN-POWERED PLEASURE CRAFT

Life-Saving Appliances — Personal Life-Saving
Appliances and Visual Signals

209. A human-powered pleasure craft shall carry on board a personal flotation device or lifejacket

(a) that is of an appropriate size for each person on board; and

(b) if the human-powered pleasure craft is being used during whitewater paddling, that is inherently buoyant.

210. A human-powered pleasure craft shall carry on board, for the category of life-saving appliance set out in column 1 of the table to this section, the life-saving appliance set out in column 2 as indicated in that column.

TABLE

Item

Column 1

Category of Life-Saving Appliance

Column 2

Life-Saving Appliance

1.personal life-saving appliances(a) a reboarding device, unless the vertical height that must be climbed in order to reboard the pleasure craft is less than 0.5 m; and

(b) a buoyant heaving line of not less than 15 m in length

2.visual signalsif the human-powered pleasure craft is more than 6 m in length, a watertight flashlight and six pyrotechnic distress signals other than smoke signals

Vessel Safety Equipment and Navigation Equipment

211. A human-powered pleasure craft shall carry on board, for the category of equipment set out in column 1 of the table to this section, the equipment set out in column 2 as indicated in that column.

TABLE

Item

Column 1

Category of Equipment

Column 2

Equipment

1.vessel safety equipment(a) a bailer;

(b) a manual bilge pump; or

(c) bilge-pumping arrangements

2.navigation equipment(a) a sound-signalling device or a sound-signalling appliance;

(b) if the pleasure craft is operated after sunset or before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility, navigation lights that meet the applicable standards set out in the Collision Regulations; and

(c) a magnetic compass

 

GENERAL EXCEPTIONS FOR PLEASURE CRAFT

Personal Flotation Devices and Lifejackets

212. If a person who is a resident of a country other than Canada brings on board a pleasure craft a personal flotation device or lifejacket for their personal use that conforms to the laws of that country and that is of an appropriate size and in good condition, the pleasure craft is not required to carry on board a personal flotation device or lifejacket for that person that meets the standard set out in the Schedule.

Visual Signals

213. (1) No visual signals are required to be carried on board a pleasure craft that is not more than 6 m in length and is not fitted with an engine.

(2) Pyrotechnic distress signals are not required to be carried on board a pleasure craft that

(a) is operating on a river, canal or lake in which it can at no time be more than one nautical mile from shore; or

(b) has no sleeping arrangements and is engaged in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition.

Bailers and Manual Bilge Pumps

214. A bailer or manual bilge pump is not required to be carried on board a pleasure craft that cannot retain a sufficient quantity of water to make it capsize or whose compartments are sealed and are not readily accessible.

Magnetic Compass

215. A magnetic compass is not required to be carried on board a pleasure craft that is not more than 8 m in length and that navigates within sight of seamarks.

Racing Pleasure Craft

216. A racing pleasure craft, other than a canoe, kayak or rowing shell, that is engaged in formal training, in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition and that is operated under conditions of clear visibility and is attended by a safety craft may carry on board, instead of the safety equipment required by this Part, the safety equipment that is required by the rules of the applicable governing body.

EXCEPTIONS FOR HUMAN-POWERED PLEASURE CRAFT

Paddleboats and Watercycles

220. A paddleboat or watercycle is not required to carry on board life-saving appliances or vessel safety equipment if every person on board is wearing a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size.

Racing Canoes and Racing Kayaks

221. A racing canoe or a racing kayak is not required to carry on board life-saving appliances or vessel safety equipment if the canoe or kayak and its crew are engaged in formal training, in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition and if

(a) the canoe or kayak is attended by a safety craft that is carrying on board a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size for each crew member

(i) of the canoe or kayak, if the safety craft is attending only one pleasure craft, or

(ii) of the canoe or kayak with the largest crew, if the safety craft is attending more than one pleasure craft; or

(b) the canoe or kayak is not attended by a safety craft but carries on board

(i) a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size for each crew member,

(ii) a sound-signalling device, and

(iii) if it is operated after sunset or before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility, a watertight flashlight.

PART 3

HUMAN-POWERED VESSELS OTHER THAN PLEASURE CRAFT

INTERPRETATION

300. The following definitions apply in this Part.

“class 3 or above waters” means waters that have

(a) rapids with moderate and irregular waves; or

(b) rapids that are stronger, have more obstructions or are otherwise more difficult to navigate than rapids with moderate and irregular waves. (eaux de classe 3 ou plus)

“guided excursion” means a non-competitive outdoor recreational activity or excursion lead by a person in charge of the activity or excursion during which the participants use a human-powered vessel. (excursion guidée)

“helmet” means a helmet that has a fastening system and that is designed to protect a person’s head from injury from the mid-line of the forehead to the back of the crown of the head. (casque protecteur)

APPLICATION

301. This Part applies in respect of a human-powered vessel other than a pleasure craft.

GUIDED EXCURSIONS

302. (1) A person responsible for an enterprise that conducts guided excursions and the person leading a guided excursion shall ensure that

(a) every person who participates in the excursion wears the following safety equipment:

(i) a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size, and

(ii) when on class 3 or above waters, a helmet of an appropriate size; and

(b) any equipment or material that is carried on board the vessel and that is not being used is secured in place when the vessel is moving.

(2) If the water temperature is less than 15°C, a person responsible for an enterprise that conducts guided excursions and a person leading a guided excursion shall ensure that equipment is immediately available or that procedures are established to protect the participants from the effects of hypothermia or cold shock resulting from swamping, capsizing or falling overboard.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

First Aid Kit

303. A human-powered vessel shall carry on board a first aid kit.

Personal Life-Saving Appliances and Visual Signals

304. (1) A human-powered vessel shall carry on board

(a) a personal flotation device or lifejacket

(i) that is of an appropriate size for each person on board, and

(ii) if the vessel is being used during whitewater paddling, that is inherently buoyant; and

(b) for the category of life-saving appliance set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection, the additional life-saving appliance set out in column 2 as indicated in that column.

TABLE

Item

Column 1

Category of Life-Saving Appliance

Column 2

Additional Life-Saving Appliance

1.personal life-saving appliance(a) a reboarding device, unless the vertical height that must be climbed in order to reboard the vessel is not more than 0.5 m; and

(b) a buoyant heaving line of not less than 15 m in length that is contained in a throw bag

2.visual signals(a) if the human-powered vessel is not more than 6 m in length, a watertight flashlight or three pyrotechnic distress signals other than smoke signals; or

(b) if the human-powered vessel is more than 6 m in length, a watertight flashlight and six pyrotechnic distress signals other than smoke signals

(2) Every person on board a human-powered vessel shall wear

(a) a personal flotation device or lifejacket; and

(b) when on class 3 or above waters, a helmet of an appropriate size.

Vessel Safety Equipment and Navigation Equipment

305. (1) A human-powered vessel shall carry on board, for the category of equipment set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection, the equipment set out in column 2 as indicated in that column.

TABLE

Item

Column 1

Category of Equipment

Column 2

Equipment

1.vessel safety equipment(a) a bailer;

(b) a manual bilge pump; or

(c) bilge-pumping arrangements

2.navigation equipment(a) a sound-signalling device or a sound-signalling appliance;

(b) if the vessel is operated after sunset or before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility, navigation lights that meet the applicable standards set out in the Collision Regulations; and

(c) a magnetic compass

(2) A magnetic compass is not required to be carried on board a human-powered vessel that is not more than 8 m in length and that navigates within sight of seamarks.

EXCEPTION FOR CERTAIN VESSELS

Racing Canoes and Racing Kayaks

306. A racing canoe or a racing kayak is not required to carry on board safety equipment if the canoe or kayak and its crew are engaged in formal training, in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition and if

(a) the canoe or kayak is attended by a safety craft that is carrying on board a personal flotation device or lifejacket of appropriate size for each crew member

(i) of the canoe or kayak, if the safety craft is attending only one vessel, or

(ii) of the canoe or kayak with the largest crew, if the safety craft is attending more than one vessel; or

(b) the canoe or kayak is not attended by a safety craft but carries on board

(i) a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size for each crew member,

(ii) a sound-signalling device, and

(iii) if it is operated after sunset or before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility, a watertight flashlight.

Rowing Shells

307. A rowing shell is not required to carry on board personal life-saving appliances, visual signals, vessel safety equipment or navigation equipment if

(a) it is competing in a provincially, nationally or internationally sanctioned regatta or competition;

(b) it is engaged in training at the venue at which the regatta or competition is taking place; or

(c) the requirements of paragraph 306(a) or (b) are met.

Other Racing Vessels

308. A human-powered racing vessel, other than a canoe, kayak or rowing shell, that is engaged in formal training, in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition and that is operated under conditions of clear visibility and is attended by a safety craft may carry on board, instead of the safety equipment required under this Part, the safety equipment that is required by the rules of the applicable governing body.