I’m Debbie Villeneuve, your local Allstate Insurance Agent here in Cornwall with some Good Hands Advice for everyday life.
Many Canadians take advantage of great Summer weather by spending time boating on our rivers and lakes. Our summers may be short, but it’s important to take the time to ensure your boating experiences are both fun and safe, so you and your family can enjoy time together on the water for many summers to come.
If you don’t already have one, get yourself a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). It’s Federal law to carry this card if you operate any powered watercraft in Canada –regardless of engine size or length of the boat. For more powerful boats (10 horsepower or more) your boat should have a Pleasure Craft License – which is kind of like your car’s licence plate. As insurers, we always encourage people to keep their paperwork and documentation up-to-date. In some cases this can even lead to discounts on your insurance. (For more information about your PCOC or Pleasure Craft License, contact the Boating Safety Infoline at 1-800-267-6687)
The condition of your boat and what’s in it are two things that shouldn’t be ignored. Before your boat hits the water, check it over to ensure it’s in perfect working order. Check lights, look for damage or cracks and make sure the plugs are in before you put your boat in the water.
Make sure you’ve also got safety equipment on board that’s easily accessible and in good working order. Keep an emergency preparedness kit on board that includes items such as a change of clothes, drinking water, snacks, a first aid kit, extra fuel, basic tools and spare parts.
When you’re out on the water, always wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD). Not wearing one could cost you your life. 90 per cent of boaters who die in accidents were not wearing a life jacket. If you’re knocked unconscious in a boating accident, knowing how to swim won’t save you.
Don’t cruise and booze. Ever. Not only is it illegal, alcohol can have more of an effect on your reaction time if you’ve been out on the water and in the sun. In most provinces, you can also lose your driver’s licence if convicted of operating a boat while impaired.
To find out more about how you can stay safe on the water this summer, visit www.goodhandsadvice.ca for more safety tips you can use, or contact me at 613-(insert933-3512 x5050 or contact information her [email protected]).