Transport Canada reminds recreational boaters to stay safe during the long weekend



    OTTAWA, Aug. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - As thousands of Canadians head out onto
the water this Labour Day long weekend to participate in some form of
recreational boating, Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety has the
following tips to help boaters stay safe on the water:

    Wear a Lifejacket: In 85% of boating fatalities the victim was not
wearing a lifejacket. Lifejackets have come a long way in recent years - no
more bulky, orange life preservers. Today's lifejackets are comfortable,
slim-fitting and stylish.

    Be Prepared: Anything can happen on the water and there might not be
anyone around to bail you out. Inspect all your equipment before departure;
check the weather forecast; leave a trip plan with a responsible person; carry
your marine charts; and ensure you have the minimum gear required for your
vessel size. Most boats need a floating heaving line, flares and/or a
flashlight, a manual bilge pump or bailer, navigation lights, paddles, an
anchor, a fire extinguisher, a whistle or horn and lifejackets.

    Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card: Nine years ago, a law was passed
in Canada requiring operators of powered recreational boats to have a basic
level of boating knowledge. By September 2009, all boat operators will need to
have their proof of competency (it is already required for boat operators born
after April 1, 1983 and for anyone who operates a vessel less than 4 metres in
length). The best way to get your proof of competency is to take a safe
boating course. Courses are offered by accredited course providers. For a list
of course providers, please visit www.boatingsafety.gc.ca. Note: Northwest
Territories and Nunavut are exempt from the Pleasure Craft Operator Card
requirements.

    Don't cruise with booze: When you drink and boat you are not just a
danger to yourself. Operators are responsible for the safety of their guests
and should consider other users of the waterway. In addition to being
punishable under the Criminal Code, mixing alcohol and boating is far more
dangerous than you may realize. Fatigue, sun, wind and the motion of the boat
dull your senses. Alcohol intensifies these effects, leaving you with poorer
fine motor skills and impaired judgment.
    Following these simple safety measures will ensure that the thousands of
Canadians who enjoy boating are well-equipped for a safe day on the water.

    For more information on boating safety, how to get your Pleasure Craft
Operator Card and how to protect the marine environment, check out the new
Office of Boating Safety's website at
www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety/debs/obs/menu.htm.




For further information:

For further information: Jean-Maurice Duplessis, Press Secretary, Office
of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Jillian
Glover, Communications, Transport Canada, Vancouver, (604) 666-1675;
Communications, Transport Canada, Prairie and Northern Region, (204) 983-6315;
Paula Fairfax, Communications, Transport Canada, Ontario, (416) 952-0154;
Marie-Anyk Côté, Communications, Transport Canada, Quebec, (514) 633-2742;
Steve Bone, Communications, Transport Canada, Nova Scotia, (902) 426-7795;
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and
speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up to date on the latest from
Transport Canada; This news release may be made available in alternative
formats for persons with visual disabilities


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