TORONTO, July 13 /CNW Telbec/ - After experiencing four boating fatalities over the past two weeks, the Canadian public is calling for improvements to boating safety. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card program, which focuses on boater education and competency, is central to this discussion.
"Transport Canada will be introducing a number of positive improvements to the Pleasure Craft Operator Card Program this fall", says Cameron Taylor, spokesperson for BOATsmart! Canada. "We're looking forward to these enhancements, which will benefit the safety of Canadian boaters."
Federal law now requires all operators of motorized boats to have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card - regardless of age or engine size. Boaters caught without the card face a $250 fine.
The Pleasure Craft Operator Card program is aimed at reducing the more than 200 fatalities and 6,000 boating related incidents that occur in Canada each year. The objective of the program is for boaters to prepare themselves with the right knowledge and skills before heading out on the water.
BOATsmart! Canada has advocated for improvements to the program since 2003, when it introduced an online system that focused on boater education, in addition to the 36 question exam. The organization proposed a system which would require boaters to complete an online boating safety course prior to attempting the final exam. The system is very similar to the one now being proposed by Transport Canada.
Two significant changes are scheduled to be implemented by Transport Canada this fall: A new online system will require boaters to complete a 4 to 5 hour online course before being taking the final exam. New standardized test questions will also be introduced.
Many boaters are now asking if they'll have to retake their PCOC exam once these changes have been implemented. BOATsmart! Canada assures boaters that if they complete their exam now, their Operator Card will be good for life. Boaters can take the exam 24/7 online at www.BoatSmartExam.com. The BOATsmart! exam will also continue to be offered once proposed changes have been implemented.
"Without a doubt, the Pleasure Craft Operator Card program has highlighted boating safety in the minds of Canadians. With continued improvements to the program, obtaining your Operator Card is an excellent way to test your boating knowledge and competency - and most importantly to be safe on the water this summer", Taylor said.
BOATsmart! is proud to be Canada's boating educator and the country's largest Pleasure Craft Operator Card provider. The organization educates boaters online and in-class, and offers on-water training programs for new and less experienced boaters.
For more information visit www.BoatSmartExam.com or call the BOATsmart! Info Line at 1-877-792-3926. Boating Safety Professionals are available 7 days a week from 9AM to Midnight EST.
SOURCE BOATSMART! CANADA
For further information: For further information: Cameron Taylor, BOATsmart! Canada, Cell: 416-524-8943, 1-877-792-3926 x212, firstname.lastname@example.org