"Take five to stay alive" this Victoria Day Weekend
The May long weekend provides a timely opportunity to prevent boating fatalities through better preparation, says BOATERexam.com
OTTAWA, May 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Every year more than 100 Canadians die while boating, with the period between May and August accounting for the majority of drowning fatalities. With boating season fast approaching, now is the time to get prepared before heading out on the water.
"The majority of boating accidents can be prevented with a few simple precautions," says Robert Dupel, spokesperson for BOATERexam.com. "We want to remind boaters that it only takes five minutes to review a pre-departure boating checklist. It's five minutes that can save your life and that of your passengers."
For over thirteen years, BOATERexam.com has worked closely with Transport Canada to deliver safe boating courses (online and in class) that prepare recreational boaters for Canadian waters. After passing their exam, boaters receive a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), which satisfies the Canadian law that "all operators of pleasure craft fitted with any type of motor and used for recreational purposes carry proof of competency on board."
Even though this law was fully phased in on September 15, 2009, there is still evidence that many boaters have not got the message. Last year, an article from the Globe and Mail reported that out of 246 boats checked on one lake by the RCMP, only four "were completely compliant with current safety rules."
"Law enforcement officers make a number of safety checks when patrolling," says Dupel. "They check to make sure the operator has not been drinking, that there are enough lifejackets on board for all passengers, that the right safety equipment is on board, and that the operator has their "Pleasure Craft Operator Card.", commonly referred to as a boating license.
Before heading out on the water, Dupel says boaters should also get an up-to-date weather forecast and make a 'float plan', items which are part of a Pre-Departure Checklist (available at www.boaterexam.com/canada/education/pdf/predeparture.pdf). "Print that checklist and take five minutes to use it before an outing. It could make all the difference," concludes Dupel.
Boaters that still need to get certified can do so online with BOATERexam.com, a Transport Canada Approved Course Provider and the largest boating educator and issuer of operator cards in Canada.