New boating safety regulations designed to save lives

VANCOUVER, July 6 /CNW Telbec/ - With temperatures finally rising in British Columbia, boaters across the province are gearing up to hit the water. But those who take to the ocean, lake or river without a mandatory Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) are putting lives at risk, says Robert Dupel, spokesperson for

"Gaining knowledge of boating safety is critical to ensuring the safety of not just a boat operator and his passengers, but everyone using the water," Dupel said. "Following three boating mishaps last week in Canada that resulted in the tragic loss of three lives, we want to encourage boaters to evaluate their capabilities and limits to become better and safer operators by obtaining a PCOC, which is now legally required for the operation of any motorized vessel on the water in Canada."

Every year, more than 200 fatalities occur on the water as well as an estimated 6,000 non-fatal accidents - most of them preventable. The PCOC requirement is designed to reduce that number, making the water safer by ensuring all boaters are educated and prepared. Boaters caught without their PCOC risk hefty fines of no less than $250 and having their boat towed., the most convenient way for boaters to obtain their PCOC, experienced record site visits in June as people across the country rushed to get certified. In order to accommodate the increased demand, the office will remain open 24/7 throughout the month of July.

To get the card, boaters must pass a 36-question, multiple-choice exam with a 75 per cent passing grade. A temporary card can be printed immediately upon passing; the permanent card is mailed and is good for life.

Boaters may also take a safe boating classroom course where they will learn the boating basics and will get certified upon passing the exam. A complete listing of upcoming courses across BC is available online at

The PCOC regulations apply to boaters of all ages and boats with motors of all sizes; in fact, a PCOC is even required to operate an electric motor on a canoe, for example.

Lost your card? No problem. "'s national database of boaters, the largest in the country, is the first place boaters should look if they have lost their card," says Dupel. "Boaters can verify that their name is on file and can print a replacement card before heading out on the water."

For more information, visit

About - is a Transport Canada Accredited Course Provider, the largest course provider in the country and offers boaters various ways to get certified; online or in class in both official languages. For more information visit its official site, or call its Boating Safety Info Line Toll Free 1-866-688-2628, open from 9am to midnight EST daily.


For further information: For further information: Robert Dupel,, Phone: 1-877-722-8838 x249, or Courtney de Boer, LBMG, 604-306-0875,

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