The long weekend is coming up, and as we will be seeing temperatures around 25 °C, there is a good chance we will be seeing many people out on the water soon.

Lindsey Leko, a senior conservation officer said it’s important to stay safe out there. 

“Conservation officers and RCMP will start targeting these waters to ensure people are complying with the laws, and making sure everybody is safe as it can be.”  

He said it's an offense to consume or possess liquor or cannabis on a boat, including a pontoon boat. 

“Everyone seems to think as long as it's got a pail to use the bathroom in, a barbecue on the bow, and a place to lay down it's considered a houseboat, and that is that is not the case,” said Leko. “Actual houseboats have plumbed-in sewer and cooking facilities, with permanent sleeping arrangements.” 

He added in order to lawfully consume alcohol on a houseboat, it must be moored permanently on a shore.  

Leko said it's an offense under the criminal code of Canada to operate a boat if impaired under drugs or alcohol. In fact, Conservation officers and RCMP will have screening devices on them while doing regular patrols of southern Saskatchewan lakes.   

Another thing people need to remember is there must be a life jacket for every person on board.  

“It's always a good idea because in the event of an accident or something like that, a lot of times people are propelled forward or thrown overboard, and they're knocked unconscious, or they're wearing clothing that just makes them sink like a rock.” 

Some other things to keep in mind are following the speed limits, and having your boating license with you.