Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

New 2020 guidance from the FCRCC insurer, AllSport Insurance, now requires all PFDs used by Canadian paddlers to be Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard or Department of Fisheries and Oceans approved (with an exception for foreign nationals).  Vaikobi PFDs are currently not Transport Canada approved. What does this mean?

  • All FCRCC club boats will require one Transport Canada approved PFD for each paddler on board (whether worn or in the boat).
  • Foreign paddlers may wear a PFD approved by their home foreign governmental agency (i.e. US paddlers coming north to race).
  • Vaikobi PFDs are still not Transport Canada approved and are insufficient to satisfy the AllSport Insurance requirement (unless you are a visiting paddler from Australia), so any paddler wearing a Vaikobi PFD must also have in the boat for themselves, a Transport Canada approved PFD.
  • Inflatable PFDs are only considered PFDs when worn on the body (so inflatable PFDs tied to boat seats will not be sufficient).

This new requirement applies to ALL training (e.g. practices, lessons etc.) and races (e.g. time trials, regattas etc.) in dragon boats, OC-1s and coach boats.

Canadian Coast Guard or Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Here is the relevant site:

https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/marine/getting-started-safe-boating/choosing-lifejackets-personal-flotation-devices.html#standards

To meet insurance requirements, besides Transport Canada, this would include PFDs approved by the Canadian Coast Guard or Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 
Vaikobi PFDs are not Canadian approved. You can wear your Vaikobi PFD but must have a Canadian approved PFD also in the boat. Inflatable PFDs are okay as long as they are fastened to you and not the seat.