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Winnipeg Police Service


About the Service > River Patrol Unit

The Winnipeg Police Service River Patrol Unit | Alcohol and Boating |
| Developing a Float Plan For Your Next Trip | Licensing Your Boat | Operator Competency Requirements | Required Boating Equipment | Safe Boater's Checklist | Speed Limits

Current River Conditions:

Winnipeg's rivers and retention ponds have frozen over in most areas. Although they may appear completely frozen, caution should always be used as with currents and outflows of water from varying sources, ice conditions may deteriorate and become unsafe. The Winnipeg Police Service considers all frozen bodies of water within the City of Winnipeg to be unsafe for recreational activities.

The exceptions are areas that are checked and monitored for these activities. Links to City of Winnipeg pond skating conditions and The Forks skating trail can be found at:

Updated 2018-02-02

Safe Boating Week 2017 - Are You Prepared?

The Winnipeg Police Service River Patrol Unit was honoured to join the Life Saving Society of Manitoba today for the launch of Safe #Boating Week.

With the May long weekend upon us, and many Manitobans preparing to take to our waterways within the city and across Manitoba, we wish to take a moment to remind boaters about the importance of safe, responsible boat-operator practices.

Our aim? To decrease the number of boating fatalities that occur each year during boating season.

As you prepare your boat, please remember to prepare your emergency plan and ensure you have the materials on hand to possibly save a life should the need arise.

Our River Patrol will be out on the waterways checking for these required safety items and a pleasure craft operator’s competency card.

Lets make this a safe and enjoyable boating season for all! Enjoy our waterways but do so safely!

Boat Safety - Be Prepared When Heading Out On To Winnipeg Waters Ways

Boat Safety - Please Don't Cruise With Booze

The Winnipeg Police River Patrol Unit encourages you to enjoy Winnipeg's waterways, but please do safely. Please don't cruise with booze.

Alcohol is a factor in nearly 40% of boating incidents and many Canadians simply do not understand that there are intensifying factors, known as “stressors”, such as sun, wind, waves and the rocking motion of the boat that can greatly increase the effects of alcohol on the water.

There are many vessels where drinking is simply not allowed.

Open alcohol containers are only allowed on boats that are designed to be ‘residences’, with sleeping facilities, a head (washroom facilities) and cooking facilities. And drinking is only allowed when that boat is at anchor, docked or hard aground; never while underway.

The laws surrounding when a boater is considered impaired mirror provincial driving laws. Some provinces have even put in place legislation that has impaired boating affecting the boaters’ rights to drive their automobile; being charged on the water equals remedies on land. In provinces that have not enacted similar legislation, many boaters forget that “having a few too many” on the water, by extension, may lead to being impaired while driving home.

Please make good decisions when driving your boat. Let's keep Winnipeg's waterways safe.



The Winnipeg Police Service River Patrol is part of the Traffic Unit. The River Patrol is committed to enhancing the year-round use and safety of all navigable and frozen waterways including various retention ponds by education, enforcement of respective laws, acts, by-laws and regulations, and to further provide technical and advisory support to both internal and external agencies.

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Do you have an inquiry not covered by these pages? Contact the Winnipeg Police River Patrol Unit by calling 204-986-8035 or sending an email.

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Last update: May 19, 2017

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