Boating, Boating Safety,
Pleasure Craft Operator Card,
Safe Boating Course, Power Squadron Course,
Boat Sales,Marine Outfitters,
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Living on the west coast you most likely own some kind of watercraft, or know someone who does. You might also be among the large number who have some type of watercraft on their 'wish list'.
Whatever your 'boating' status presently is, there is much to know about boating and the water if you are to make every outing a pleasant experience. Make no mistake, one careless outing can quickly turn into a life threatening experience, which could have fatal results.
Safety On the Water
Common sense can easily be left behind when it comes to taking possession of a water craft, and without any experience or training setting out onto the lovely, but unforgiving water. It is not the first person to take out a powerful motor boat and in a foolish and careless moment wind up destroying the boat and putting the occupants in serious jeopardy.
Even something as simple as taking out a small canoe or row boat can present life threatening challenges if the wind or waves suddenly become more than the craft can safely handle.
Not wearing an approved PFD (personal floatation device) or having the very basic safety gear can end your life very quickly if something goes wrong. You risk drowning in minutes if you end up in the bone chilling waters of the west coast with no means of staying afloat. The cold will quickly render even the strongest of swimmers, incapable of keeping above water.
If your craft does lose power, you need to be prepared to attract help if you hope to return home safely. Of course, that is why you took the time to properly equip your craft with the needed flares etc.
If these opening paragraphs sound overly dramatic, be assured that they are mild compared to what you can encounter on the open water, whether it is a river, lake or the ocean. It is not intended to discourage you from taking to the water, but rather to make the point, that you have to be properly prepared to keep you and your charges safe anytime you take to the water.
Pleasure Craft Operator Card
You wouldn't allow your child to drive your car without lessons.......
Yet many people think they can just put down the cash and take possesssion of a boat and off they go, without any training or experience. It used to be that boating was completely unregulated and just about anyone could take control of any boat. However, this has changed in Canada within this past year.
Now, all operators of any powered watercraft used for recreational purposes are required to have obtained the Pleasure Craft Operator Card. As of September 15, 2009 all boaters are required to have the Pleasure Craft Operators Card in order to operate a powered watercraft. There is no grandfather clause or age exemption - this law applies to all boaters. Powered watercraft includes watercraft fitted with any size motor - even an electric trolling motor.
Not having the required Operator Card on board is subject to a $250 fine. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions use this Nanaimo Info LINK .
You can study for and take this exam online by paying a one time fee of $49.95, which allows you to study for the exam and take the test online, basically as many times as it takes to pass. You will need at least a 75% grade to pass the test which is made up of 36 multiple choice questions.
You can download the Safe Boating Course study material by clicking on the above graphic. The course contains 48 pages of material covering topics such as How to Boat Smartly, Safe Boating Regulations Acts, and Codes, Operating A Motor Boat, Water Rescue Equipment, Basic Seamanship Techniques, Maritime Communications System, Nautical Rules Of The Road, The Bouyage System and Pleasurecraft Terminology.
BOATsmart is another online source to study for and take the exam to secure your Pleasurecraft Operators Card, to visit their website simply click on the above graphic.