Tuesday May 17, 2011
Be safe, break bad boating habits
Releases by BOATSmart Canada, Boat Safety Council and
irst annual BOATsmart! Awareness Day aims to put a stop to the more than 100 boating fatalities and 6,000 non-fatal injuries that occur each year in Canada by promoting safe, enjoyable and educated boating on Tuesday, May 17.
The day will call on all boaters to ensure they are equipped with the education and equipment they need to boat safely, legally, and with confidence.
"Victoria Day long weekend has traditionally been a big one for boat operators across the country as it's usually the first chance people have to get away to their cottages and out on the water," says Cameron Taylor, President of BOATsmart! Canada, the country's leading authority on boating education and largest Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) provider.
"People from across the country will be excited to be out in their boats and that's great," says Taylor. "But along with that enthusiasm, it's important that everyone is prepared, so they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe."
Taylor says the best way for boat operators to ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers is to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), which is required by law* for all motorized boat operators. On April 15, Transport Canada implemented a new exam (available at www.boatsmartexam.com) that sets a higher standard for people to attain their PCOC. Under the new regulations, both online and in-person exams have increased from 36 to 50 standardized questions, and those boaters who choose to take the test online are now required to complete an online study guide prior to taking the exam.
"Transport Canada has enhanced boating safety by creating an exam that's based on the latest information on prevention practices and critical safety knowledge, and provides a much more accurate assessment of a person's boating safety knowledge," says Taylor. "Now it's time for Canadian boaters to do their job by going out and getting certified."
Taylor estimates that out of the four to six million power boat operators in Canada, up to three million boaters have yet to obtain a license even though failure to present a PCOC while operating a boat can result in a $250 fine.
"More than 100 boating fatalities occur each year in Canada, with another 6,000 suffering non-fatal injuries," says Taylor. "Boat operators in this country need realize that almost all of these accidents can be prevented through proper education and boater certification."
BOATsmart! Canada is happy to announce that boaters can now purchase the official BOATsmart! Study Guide and take the Pleasure Craft Operator Card exam exclusively at participating Canadian Tire stores. BOATsmart! Safe Boating Teams will also be visiting participating Canadian Tire storefronts from May to September to administer the official PCOC exam.
"It is our hope and Canadian Tire's hope that by providing Canadian boaters with increased education and training before they head out on the water, we can significantly decrease the number of and severity of boating-related incidents this summer," says Taylor.
*or proof of competency
About BOATsmart! Canada
BOATsmart! Canada's mandate is to provide Canadians with the education and exam access necessary to obtain their Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Canadians can complete the exam online or in-person. The safe boating organization has Canada's largest network of exam centres, including participating Canadian Tire stores. BOATsmart! Canada also offers a variety of Transport Canada recognized safe boating courses, both in classroom and on the water. Each course includes the opportunity to complete the exam and obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
Release from Canadian Boat Safety Council
North American Safe Boating Awareness Week will take place across Canada from May 21st to May 27th, 2011. The purpose of this initiative is to promote safe and responsible boating practices to the estimated 16 million recreational boaters in Canada while significantly reducing boating-related fatalities. (Statistics provided by the Lifesaving Society of Canada indicate 133 people died in boating-related incidents in Canada during 2010.)
To help increase awareness of Safe Boating Awareness Week, on May 21st, 2011, boating safety educators, marine enforcement officials, politicians, media and the general public will gather to establish a World's Record Inflatable Life Jacket Inflation called Ready, Set, Inflate. On one single across North America, all participants will inflate their inflatable life jackets and record their individual events to prove the size of the initiative and break last year's World Record. The purpose of this event is to raise public awareness of the new styles of lifejackets, both inflatable and inherently buoyant, and about general boating safety practices. Visit www.smartboater.ca and go to the "Ready, Set, Inflate" link for the location closest to you.
This year we have five key messages for boating safety:
the importance of wearing a life jacket
the dangers associated with drinking and boating
the importance of taking a safe boating course
ensuring that your vessel is safe and seaworthy
the risks associated with a fall into cold water
This initiative is promoted by the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), a registered charity, and its members and partners from all areas of the marine community including boat and marine product manufacturers, boating education organizations, water safety and marine law enforcement sectors, www.smartboater.ca Canada's resource for boating information, Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety and the BC Marine Trades Association. The goal is to ensure that the millions of Canadians who head out on the waters in canoes and kayaks, sailboards and sailboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft, power boats and cruisers are equipped with the knowledge for a safe day on the water.
Please visit www.smartboater.ca and www.csbc.ca for further information.
Release by Canadian Power & Sail Squadron
The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons 2011 Canadian Safe Boating Awareness Week* will take place from Coast to Coast to Coast in Canada from May 28 to June 3, 2011.
The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that all Canadians who head out on the waters in canoes, kayaks, sailboards, sailboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft, power boats, cruisers and houseboats are equipped with the knowledge required to have a safe day on the water.
The Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons will be providing FREE Recreational Vessel Courtesy Checks*. At the invitation of the boat owner and with reference to the appropriate section in the "Safe Boating Guide", the CPS Boating Safety Specialist reviews the safety equipment required by law. Boats that meet regulations are issued a 2011 CPS RVCC decal.
The Canadian Power & Sail Squadron is a leader in training for the recreational boater, with over 42,000 members across the country and is presenting this initiative in conjunction with its industry partners, to promote and encourage safe boating practices to all Canadians.
CPS will post special news releases and other valuable information on its website www.cpsboat.ca . This will include content for radio and press releases as provided by our partners in safe boating.
For information on how to get your boating licence visit: www.boatsmartexam.com/en
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