Boating Safety

UNB Reference Number: 7842
Authorized by: E. Parr Johnston, President,
Effective Date: November 2001
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To outline University policy on boating safety.


All persons (faculty, staff, students and visiting scientists) who operate small boats, i.e. under 15 tons gross weight, owned by the University. This policy does not apply to registered marine vessels, such as the University research vessel.


  1. Enforcement: The operation of small University owned boats is regulated as "commercial" boating under the Canada Shipping Act, Small Vessel Regulations, and is enforced by Transport Canada. (The operation of "pleasure craft" by members of the public is regulated by the Canadian Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies.) Individuals who operate boats are responsible for equipping and operating boats safely and for ensuring the safety of all those onboard.
  2. Powered Boats: All individuals who operate power driven boats will be required to obtain an "Operator Competency Card" by the following dates:
    • Power driven boats or watercraft under 4 metres in length - by September 15, 2002.
    • Power driven boats 4 metres in length or greater - by September 15, 2009.
    • Operator cards are valid for the life of the owner. Training courses are offered periodically by the Canadian Coast Guard and local Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons.
  3. Non-Powered Boats: Individuals who operate non-powered boats less than 2 metres in length are not required to obtain Operator Competency Cards.
  4. Safety Equipment: Individuals who operate power driven or non-powered boats must carry the minimum required safety equipment and observe all safety precautions as specified in the Canadian Coast Guard "Safe Boating Guide" or Part V of the Small Vessel Regulations. University boats, as commercial vessels, are required to carry "standard life jackets" for each person on board. The use of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) does not meet the requirements.
  5. Licensing: All boats, 15 tons gross weight or less, which are equipped with a motor 7.5 kW (10 HP) or greater are required to be "licensed" through the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
  6. Penalties: Individuals who operate boats and who fail to comply with the Regulations (for eg., not carrying required safety equipment) may be individually liable on summary conviction to a fine of $250.00. Any individual who operates a boat in a dangerous manner, while impaired, or who operates an unseaworthy boat, may be subject to prosecution under the Criminal Code of Canada.


Deans, directors and administrative heads shall develop written departmental procedures to ensure:

  • Powered boats are licensed;
  • All persons required to do so possess Operator Competency Cards; and
  • All University owned boats carry the "minimum required safety equipment" .

For more information on boating safety, contact the UNB Safety Office or refer to the web site for the Marine Safety Office of Transport Canada