Media Advisory - Legal Deadline for 8 Million Recreational Boaters Less Than One Month Away

    OTTAWA, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - Federal law in Canada requires all operators of
powered recreational vessels to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card by
September 15, 2009.

    The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is available from BOATsmart! Canada - a
boating education course recognized by Transport Canada.

    The law affects more than 8 million Canadians. Recreational boaters born
after April 1, 1983 and any person operating a powered vessel less than 4 m in
length require the card now. All remaining boaters will require the card by
September 15, 2009. Once obtained, the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) is
good for life.

    "We developed the BOATsmart! program to assist Canadian boaters by
offering educational resources and access to the Operator Card exam", remarks
Cameron Taylor, President of BOATsmart! Canada.

    Boaters must complete a 36 question written exam in order to obtain the
card. A minimum passing grade of 75% is required. Topics on the exam include
navigation rules, marker buoys, required safety equipment and emergency

    BOATsmart! Canada offers safe boating courses and a comprehensive Home
Study Guide (available at marine retailers) to help students prepare for the
PCOC exam. Educational resources and practice exams are also available online

    Approximately 1.5 million Canadians have obtained the card. An estimated
6.5 million boaters still require the card by September 15, 2009.

    "BOATsmart! has launched to meet this need, making
the PCOC exam available online to all Canadians", said Taylor. "We encourage
recreational boaters to take advantage of the free educational tools and
resources available on the BOATsmart! web site."

    The official exam is accessible 24/7 online at

    The exam is also available through a network of certified BOATsmart!
Canada examiners and test locations across Canada. Community locations can be
found online at or by calling BOATsmart! Canada's toll
free student support line at 1-877-792-3926, available 7 days per week.

    Boaters should be aware that the consequences of not having the card are
significant. Those caught without the card will face a $250 fine.

    The impact of the program has been positive. "The annual number of
boating injuries and fatalities has decreased since the introduction of the
PCOC program", said Taylor. "Even those with many years of boating experience
can benefit from completing the exam process. Experienced boaters can
challenge their knowledge and advance their skills by preparing for the exam."

    A key component of the BOATsmart! Canada program focuses on training and
certification. The organization promotes five boating safety messages:

        1. Get Certified: Get trained and obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator

        2. Wear the Gear: Always wear an approved Lifejacket of Personal
           Flotation Device (PFD)

        3. Don't Drink and Boat: Alcohol and boating don't mix.

        4. Be Prepared: Know your waterway and the weather

        5. Emergency Ready: Know what to do in case of emergency

    BOATsmart! Canada educates recreational boaters and promotes the safe,
enjoyable and environmentally friendly use of Canada's waterways. The
organization works with corporate partners such as Yamaha Motor Canada to
create awareness for boating safety in Canada. The BOATsmart! program is
officially recognized by Transport Canada.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact
Cameron Taylor, President, BOATsmart! Canada, 1-877-792-3926 x212, cell: (416)

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