Nothing puts a dampener on a fun boat trip like getting fined for not boating safely. In Alberta, we are all about fun boating and we want our residents to be able to experience the great boating lifestyle that so many people love. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), municipal police and conservation officers are responsible for maintaining safety on Alberta’s waterways and are permitted to search your vessel and monitor your boating habits in order to make sure you are following the law. When an offence is committed, the enforcement officer can lay a charge using the Summary Conviction process and the penalties found in the CSA, 2001 s. 209(2). The boat operator can face fines up to $10,000 for each offence.

Be a safe boater and review these common infractions and associated fines in the province of Alberta.

  • Operator is violating age / horsepower restrictionsup to $10,000
  • Not marking the boat with a valid pleasure craft license number / not having the license paper onboard while underway – up to $10,000
  • Boating without having required knowledge or training (i.e.: Pleasure Craft Operator Card) – up to $10,000
  • Operator is engaged in careless boating – up to $10,000
  • Operator is using a PWC (Personal Watercraft) while under the age of 16 – up to $10,000
    • PWCs include: Sea-doos, waterscooters, boatercycles, jet skis, and wave runners
  • Operator is boating with inoperative or inaccessible safety equipment – up to $10,000
  • Operator is engaged in unsafe boating – up to $10,000
  • No Canadian-approved lifejackets or PFDs on board – up to $10,000
    • NOTE: This fine applies to each passenger without a PFD
  • Operator is towing individuals but has not spotter – up to $10,000
  • Operator is towing individuals without seating space for them – up to $10,000

The local enforcement officers are responsible for ensuring your safety by upholding the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Any questions you may have that relate to the boating rules or fines in your area should be directed to local enforcement or to Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety regional office. They will be able to give in depth information about these fines, why they are in place, and identify how offences may be prevented. Pleasure craft operators who have taken a Transport Canada approved boating safety course already know all the rules around safe boating and have become certified boaters. It’s the best way to avoid the fines and enjoy the water in Alberta.

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