TORONTO, July 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian boaters who take to the waterways without a mandatory Pleasure Craft Operator Card this summer are taking dangerous risks, for themselves, passengers and fellow boaters, says Robert Dupel spokesperson for BoaterExam.com.
"Unfortunately it takes the loss of someone's life for people to recognize how important safe boating is for the millions people who take to Canadian waterways each year. Last weekend, three people were killed on the water in Canada as a result of boating mishaps. Operating a boat without an Operator Card is illegal in Canada with operators liable for a minimum $250 fine," Dupel said.
Over 200 boating fatalities occur each year in Canada along with an estimated 6,000 non-fatal accidents - most of them preventable.
The Pleasure Craft Operator Card regulations are aimed at reducing the number of boating related accidents and fatalities. The program's goal is to encourage boaters to evaluate their capabilities and limits, to prepare themselves adequately before heading out, and to be responsible on the water.
As of September 15, 2009 all boaters are required to have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card in order to operate a powered watercraft in Canada.
"We strongly encourage everyone with a boat to enjoy their time on the water and to take responsibility for their actions. Just like driving a motor vehicle, serious accidents can occur if basic rules are not followed. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is a positive way to reinforce proper boating procedures," Dupel said.
Boaters must receive a grade of 75% or higher on a 36-question, multiple-choice exam after which time a temporary card can be printed with the permanent card mailed within three weeks. For those wanting to learn from an instructor, BoaterExam.com offers a safe boating classroom course as well.
BoaterExam.com is Canada's largest course provider offering boaters a number of ways to become certified: online or in class in English and French. For more information visit: www.BoaterExam.com or call their Boating Safety Info Line toll-free at: 1-866-688-2628 from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST daily. Boatexam.com is accredited by Transport Canada to administer the boat operator exam.
For further information: For further information: Robert Dupel, BoaterExam.com, Phone: 1-877-722-8838 x249, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jessica Patriquin, PUNCH Canada, 416-360-6522 x245, email@example.com