National Fishing Week Hits Close to Home
Sun Media Corporation
June 30th, 2004
For the majority of recreational boaters, National Fishing Week accounts for probably the most active days on the water, so let's make the most of it and make it as safe as possible.
As we hit the water with vigour over the next week or so, let's remember that safety on the water can never be over-stated. Simple things such as having all the necessary tools and equipment on board is always recommended. With the new stricter boating regulations in effect these days, a quick review of the boaters safety guideis also suggested, and let common sense be your guide. While fishing after dark, for example, make sure your boat lights are functional and that you have a flashlight with you. Let someone know exactly where you will be fishing in the event of an emergency, and if possible, bring along communication equipment such as a two-way radio, a satellite or cell-phone. Safe Boating is everyone's concern and these are just a few simple tips on safe boating that everyone on the water should know.
Make a Plan and Tell Someone
Possibly the smartest thing you can do this week before heading out on the water is to set a detailed boating plan and leave it with someone before you set sail. The same principle as an aircraft pilot's flight plan, the boating plan should outline precisely where you will be heading with your boat, and if possible, include detailed marine map co-ordinates, and provide a GPS way-point of your intended destination. You should also indicate your time of departure, estimated time of arrival, and estimated time on-route. It is also very important to identify your craft on the boating plan should someone need to find your boat on the water. The vessel registration number on the side is a good idea, as well as any other distinct markings on your craft should be included. In the event of a mishap on the water, a detailed boating plan may just save your life.
Celebrate When You Get Home
Alcohol and boating is a touchy but important subject, and like driving a car or a truck, captaining a boat carries the same responsibility. Too many anglers and boaters have drowned as a result of the effects of alcohol. Be smart and safe on the water, and celebrate that stringer of fish when you get back to dry land.
Internet Boater Exam®
Boaters may study the safe boating course material and take the boat test online as well: BOATERexam.com® provides the Safe Boating Course Manual for free online and the Coast Guard test is available online 24/seven. You are able to print a Temporary Pleasure Craft Operator Card immediately upon passing and the Permanent Pleasure Craft Operator Card is mailed to your home. For more information, visit www.BOATERexam.com ®, a Coast Guard-approved safe boating course provider.
Pleasure Craft Operator's Card
If you have not already taken the examination for the Pleasure Craft Operators Card, as a boater you are encouraged to do so as a soon as possible, even if you do not presently own a boat. The pleasure craft operator card emphasises safety on the water and is good-for-life. Boaters may obtain their pleasure craft operator card after receiving a mark of at least 75% on a Canadian Coast Guard-approved safe boating test. All boaters have the option of taking this safe boating test without first completing a boating safety course. Call the Boating Safety Info-line at 800-267-6687.