Safety precautions begin with a well-stocked boat

For many Canadians, spring and summer mean one thing – boating season.

  • Mar. 26, 2012 11:00 a.m.

For many Canadians, spring and summer mean one thing – boating season.

As each weekend approaches, boaters prepare to hit the cottage and the water, with special consideration to things like the weather, the menu, and the bugs.

However, having the proper safety equipment on board the boat is also crucial to ensuring every trip on the water is safe and enjoyable.

In fact, the pleasure craft operator card is one of the most important items to have on board.

The card is an individual’s proof of competency to operate a pleasure craft. Commonly known as a boating license, the PCOC is required by law, regardless of age, size of boat or engine horsepower, and gives boaters the knowledge to keep themselves, passengers and other boaters safe on the water.

What’s in your boat?

* Pleasure craft operator card (available at

* Approved life-jacket or PFD (for each person on board)

* Sunglasses, sunscreen

Required boating safety equipment.

* Bailing device

* Manual and electric bilge pump

* Buoyant heaving line and/or life ring

* Anchor

* Paddles/oars

* Waterproof flashlight

* Sound-signaling device (air horn or whistle)

* Fire extinguisher

* Marine flares

*  An emergency kit that includes: drinking water; emergency rations; first-aid kit; waterproof matches; knife; dry clothing; and a repair kit.

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