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Tips to practice boating safety this summer

(NC) Enjoy spending time by the water with loved ones this summer by following these tips to keep people and Canadian waterways safe.

- Take an accredited Canadian boating safety course. Keep your pleasure craft operator certificate with you at all times.

- Inspect your boat and all your equipment before departure.

- Always wear your lifejacket or personal flotation device while on board. It is important to put it on before boarding the vessel.

- Check the forecast for weather and water conditions before heading out and keep a watchful eye out for changing conditions.

- Study and carry your marine charts.

- Leave a trip/rescue plan with a responsible person.

- Do not drink and drive and do not cruise with alcohol onboard your boat.

- Never boat under the influence. It's dangerous — and against the law — to operate a boat while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Find your local Canadian Coast Guard phone number at www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/emergency-numbers-hub.