S/Sgt Gandolfi talks Boat Safety
Back in May I’d completed a column talking about boating safety and the requirements of maintaining a sound and safe vessel. On July 16th we ran a project on Moose Lake and conducted safety checks on approximately 40 vessels that afternoon. The results were generally positive with most vessels showing compliance with safety equipment and standards.
One issue though that was very obvious is that for some reason many boat owners have failed to properly licence their vessels as required by law. This licensing term gets confusing because when someone says “licence” we automatically think driver’s licence, like what we carry in our purse or wallets to drive a car. Yes I have a licence right? Wrong. What you carry with you to drive a boat is actually called a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or PCOP, not a “licence” and yes you must have your PCOP with you while operating a motor boat. When you hear the term “licence” referenced in boating terms, think of that alpha-numeric code commonly made of stickers that is often found on the hull of your vessel near the bow. That is what we look for when we talk about boat licensing and that is what was missing on about 90% of the boats we checked.
This code allows us to determine ownership, conduct followup on complaints about a vessel’s use, and assists us when things go wrong like an overturned vessel, missing boaters, or some other unfortunate circumstance.Obviously when a boat overturns everything goes in the water including wallets, cell phones, sunglasses, etc. Without those stickers in place we will have a very hard time trying to find out who may be missing and in need of assistance. This licensing process is free and you can find information on it from the Transport Canada website at www.tc.gc.ca. You may also choose to “register” your private vessel, but this process costs money. When you register a vessel that’s when you see the name of the vessel and port of registry on the stern or rear of the hull. Either way gets you protected in terms of safety, one way is free and not so special, the other way costs money but can personalize your boat in ways the free system can’t. Either way works but please be aware that it is unlawful to not have this taken care of.
Any questions you can always check in with us and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. Stay Safe.
*Cop Corner is written & provided by S/Sgt Luis Gandolfi of the Bonnyville Detachment. It has not been altered from the author’s original content.