Winter rules are in effect from October 15th to April 15th.
Personal risks of slips and falls because of ice on ramps and docks, risks of damage to equipment due to ice sheets on roadways, walkways, and ramps, and equipment damage because of extended cold periods are considerably higher now than normal. Cold water temperatures increase your risk of serious injury or death in a matter of minutes if you fall into the water far from rescue.
Winter paddling rules are intended to protect club members, increase chances of safe self-rescue or rescue by emergency services in case of an accident, and to protect equipment. Rules prohibiting paddling when there is ice or when the temperature, including windchill, is at or below zero degrees mitigate risk of extreme cold, ice, and slips and falls.
Rules requiring a maximum distance of 50 meters from shore increase your chance of self-rescue or being rescued by emergency services before hypothermia causes an inability to move or loss of consciousness in cold weather.
Even when temperatures rise above zero degrees, there should be no paddling when there are ice sheets across which you need to transport boats: the risk of you slipping, falling, and damaging yourself or club equipment is too high.
- All paddlers using FCRCC Boats must wear Transport Canada approved PFDs during both daylight and evening hours.
- Only experienced solo paddlers may go west of the Burrard Street Bridge. Experienced solo paddlers venturing west of the Burrard Street Bridge must stay within 50 meters of shore at all times.
- Novice solo paddlers:
• Must paddle in pairs at all times and
• May not venture past the Burrard Street Bridge unless accompanied by a qualified FCRCC coach, either in a coach boat or paddling.
- OC6 teams may go out on English Bay but must stay within 50 meters of shore at all times. OC6 teams may be a mix of experienced and novice paddlers.
- There is no paddling when:
• the temperature is at or below 0’C (including wind-chill) or
• when there is ice on Alder Bay.
• when there is significant ice buildup on the docks or travel path between boat storage and the water.