Millions of boaters still not licensed

It’s been almost two years since Transport Canada made boating licences mandatory, and close to three million Canadian boaters have yet to obtain their Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

It’s been almost two years since Transport Canada made boating licences mandatory, and close to three million Canadian boaters have yet to obtain their Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Because every boating fatality and accident – Canadians suffer an estimated 6,000 non-fatal injuries on the water each year – is largely preventable, BOATsmart Canada is urging those three million unlicensed boaters to obtain their operator card in order to learn the necessary skills, rules and regulations they’ll need to keep themselves and their families out of harm’s way.

“People shouldn’t become certified just because it’s the law, they should become certified because what they learn while writing the exam can help them keep their family safe while out on the water this summer,” said Cameron Taylor, BOATsmart president.  “Especially in cases where families are out tubing, wakeboarding or waterskiing, we recommend that each family member obtains their PCOC so that, no matter what, the watercraft is always under the control of a licensed boater.”

Fines for common boating offences include:

* Operating a power-driven pleasure craft without the required Pleasure Craft Operator Card – $250.

* Operating a vessel in a careless manner – $250.

* Underage operation of a personal watercraft – $100.

For more information, please go to www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety.