TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 05/11/12 -- With boating season just around the corner, BOATsmart! is urging Canadians to boat with confidence this year by getting their Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) before taking to the water. In the days leading up to the Victoria Day long weekend, the second annual BOATsmart! Awareness Week focuses on boating safety awareness and education for the whole family.
BOATsmart! Awareness Week is the official kick-off to a seasonal campaign to encourage Canadian boaters and their families to get PCOC-certified. Boaters can get certified in time for the upcoming season by going to www.boatsmartexam.com, completing the complimentary online study course, and taking the exam.
"We believe that all members of the family should get their Pleasure Craft Operator Card because safe boating is important at every age and for all passengers," says Cameron Taylor, President of BOATsmart! "By certifying the entire family, you can ensure the watercraft is always under the control of a certified boater."
Approximately 100 Canadians die in accidents on the water every year, with another 6,000 suffering non-fatal injuries - with the majority of these accidents being preventable. As the country's leader in boating safety, and the number one provider of the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) - commonly known as a boating license - BOATsmart!, is urging families to get PCOC-certified now.
The May long weekend is just the beginning of the boating season and thousands of families across the country will be heading to the cottage to enjoy Canada's waterways. In order to minimize risk and accidents on the water, the BOATsmart! Team will be out in full force this season to provide education and access to proper certification.
Beginning May 17, and throughout the summer, BOATsmart! Safe Boating Teams are making stops at Canadian Tire stores and community events across the country to educate Canadians on safe boating and offer onsite PCOC exams.
BOATsmart! strongly recommends the following to families planning to head out on the water this boating season:
- Make safe boating part of your cottage routine
Canadian winters can be long, so families should review water safety rules together at the beginning of each season, and each time they hit the water. The BOATsmart! Study Guide, available online and at participating Canadian Tire locations, contains crucial information that every family needs to boat safely and with confidence.
- Wear a personal floatation device (PFD) at all times
Data shows that more than 86 per cent of those who drown while boating were not wearing a PFD. It should be worn by all boaters in and around the water-not just when operating or riding in a vessel.
It is strongly recommended that small children wear PFD's at all times when in close proximity to the water.
- Never mix drinking with boating
Alcohol is a factor in more than 40 per cent of boating related fatalities so officials remind us to never consume alcohol prior to, or while boating.
- Get certified-it's the law
Any individual operating the boat must obtain a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC), which is their proof of competency to operate a pleasure craft. It is recommended that each family member obtain his or her PCOC so the watercraft is always under the control of a certified boater. Failure to present a PCOC while operating a powered vessel can result in a minimum fine of $250. Once obtained, the PCOC is good for life.
BOATsmart! provides the Pleasure Craft Operator Card at a discount for families, available at www.boatsmartexam.com. The official BOATsmart! Study Guide is available at participating Canadian Tire stores and is a valuable resource to refresh the entire family's boating knowledge prior to each season.
About BOATsmart! Canada
BOATsmart!® educates and certifies boaters for their Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Accredited by Transport Canada, our mission is to promote the safe, enjoyable and environmentally friendly use of Canada's waterways.
For further information or to speak with a
BOATsmart! representative please contact: