Boating Safety

Educating and promoting safe boating practices on Bobs and Crow lakes, is one of the most fundamental mandates of the GBCLA.   Injuries and accidents on the water are virtually 100% preventable.  Shown below are the top tips we offer to ensure you do not end up being one of the avoidable statistics!

Wear a PFD or Life Jacket

Life Jacket

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

  • A Life Jacket is designed to turn an unconscious person from face down to face up in the water, allowing them to breathe.  Lifejackets have more buoyancy mainly at the front.
  • A PFD is more comfortable to wear and are designed to keep a person afloat but not to turn an unconscious person face up in the water.

Statistics in Canada show that 80% of people who die in boating accidents are not wearing a Personal Floatation Device(PFD) or Life Jacket.   Many boaters feel they can swim safely to shore in the event of an accident.   This confidence is usually misplaced with fatal consequences.   Of paramount importance is to make sure your PFD or Life Jacket fits you properly.    Many fit too large  

For more technical information, visit the Transport Canada web site:

Choosing PFD: Transport Canada

Don’t Drink and Boat

Drinking and boating is a serious offense

Drinking alcohol while operating a boat is just as dangerous as drinking and driving a motor vehicle.   For this reason the very same laws apply.   This restriction also applies to having open alcohol in the boat.

The vast majority of fatalities and serious injuries on the lake involve excessive consumption of alcohol.  If you are caught operating a boat while impaired, you will likely lose your right to drive your car and other motor vehicles.

Know Your Boat

Basic equipment: buoyant heaving line, whistle, flashlight, bailing bucket.

Familiarize yourself with the boat you are operating and be prepared.  When operating a motorized or non-motorized boat, make sure you have all the required safety equipment on board.   

The minimum requirements for lakes like Bobs and Crow include a sound signalling device, flashlight, floating heaving line and a bailing bucket. 

The basic Safety Equipment Kits can be purchased at most marine supply stores for approximately $10. 

Be wary of the Weather

Lightning on the lake is dangerous

Boaters should check the weather before heading out on the water.  Know how to interpret weather changes while on the water as sudden changes can occur without warning.

Given the length of Bobs Lake, the weather on the water could be different at the south vs the north end.

It is always a good idea to make sure that someone on shore is aware of your boating plans.

Bring a Map and Phone

Unless you are very familiar with Bobs and Crow lake, bring the GBCLA Boating card or other map.  There are numerous bays and inlets which can quickly confuse a rookie boater.

Bring a cell phone or other communication device in a water proof bag for emergencies.  Cell coverage around the lakes is fairly complete. 

Watch out for Marker Buoys

GBCLA uses professional marine buoys

Pay special attention to the yellow buoys placed throughout Bobs and Crow lake by the Greater Bobs and Crow Lake Association.  

The buoys mark the location of dangerous rocks or shoals that increase in the risk to boats as water levels in Bobs and Crow Lakes drop approximately 1 meter over the 3 month summer period.