About the Study Guide

This Online Study Guide has been approved by Transport Canada strictly on the basis that it meets the requirements of the Standard for Pleasure Craft Operator Card Testing over the Internet (TP 15080E) and the Boating Safety Course and Test Syllabus (TP 14932E). This approval does not represent confirmation of authorship by the course provider. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pleasure Craft Operator Card

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Buoyant heaving lines and lifebuoys are personal lifesaving appliances that are designed to be thrown to a person in the water.

Buoyant heaving line

Buoyant Heaving Lines

A buoyant heaving line is a floating rope that has a soft buoyant object on one end. The line can be thrown toward a person in the water for him or her to hold onto while you pull them alongside. Packing the line in a rescue throw bag will keep the line from getting knotted and make it easier to throw.

In order for a buoyant heaving line to meet the requirements in the Small Vessel Regulations and be approved for use on your pleasure craft, it must:

  • Be made of one continuous piece of rope that is the correct length for your pleasure craft and…
  • Float and be in good condition and…
  • Be easily accessible in case of an emergency.

You should practice throwing a buoyant heaving line so that you will be prepared to use it if the need arises.



A lifebuoy is a throwable type of flotation device with a line attached. The line is used to pull the lifebuoy once it has been thrown to a person in the water.

To meet the requirements in the Small Vessel Regulations, the lifebuoy must:

  • Be at least 610 mm (24 inches) in diameter and be made of inherently buoyant material and…
  • Be attached to a good-quality buoyant line that won’t kink and is at least 9.5 mm in diameter and 15 metres long and…
  • Have a Transport Canada approval stamp or label with an approval number in the following format: T.C.xxx.xxx.xxx.

To increase visibility, make sure you have retro-reflective tape encircling the lifebuoy at four equally spaced points. The retro-reflective tape should be visible on both sides of the device.